Arizona governor candidate skips Democratic convention in favor of 'real voters'
David Garcia, a Democrat vying for the party's nomination for governor, didn't attend the state Democratic Party's annual convention last weekend.
His absence on Jan. 27 at one of the largest gatherings of Democrats in Arizona prompted questions from Democratic insiders about whether his campaign faced larger issues. New campaign-finance reports show he had less than $100,000 on hand as of Dec. 31 compared to Democratic opponent state Sen. Steve Farley,who had about $230,000.
The primary election is Aug. 28.
But Garcia's campaign manager, Bill Scheel, said Garcia, who lives in Phoenix, opted to use the day to instead campaign on Farley's turf.
"He was in Tucson knocking on doors, canvassing and getting votes," Scheel said, adding that it was the campaign's understanding that candidates would not be allowed to address the general session.
The convention is a good way for candidates to swarm the gathering, shake hands and make their campaign pitches to voters.
The state convention included the election of former attorney general candidate Felecia Rotellini as chair of the party.
"He has great respect for Felecia Rotellini, but he didn't see a need to interrupt his campaign schedule to participate in that," Scheel said. "He's been going to Democratic meetings for four years and he's out talking to real voters who are focused on the issues that are dragging down Arizona right now."
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in the November election. Ducey has nearly $2.8 million on hand.