The Congressional District 4 race was to have been one of the more hotly contested congressional races in Arizona -- at least for the Republicans.
But things cooled off early on after gun-toting Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu exited the race following allegations that he threatened to deport his Mexican boyfriend.
When the Republican primary finally came around, CD1 freshman congressman Paul Gosar handily defeated gun-toting State Senator Ron Gould, the architect of several deportation schemes of his own during his eight years in the legislature.
CD4, which includes all of Yavapai County except the eastside communities of Camp Verde, Sedona and Beaver Creek, is decidedly Republican.
Gosar is in the driver’s seat, but who knows.
This is politics, a land of strange bedfellows and October surprises.
The November general will find the incumbent Republican up against Democrat Mikel Weisser, a plumber turned junior high school teacher, and Libertarian Joe Pamelia, a Vietnam vet who likes to quote the Bible according to Quentin Tarantino.
Former Flagstaff dentist Paul Gosar is finishing his first term in congress, albeit as the representative of the former District 1 that once represented all of the Verde Valley.
As a freshman legislator he was credited with shepherding a bill through the House of Representatives that would create one of the world’s largest copper mines near the community of Superior. His assignment to the natural Resources Committee was instrumental in passing that legislation.
Gosar has a bachelor’s degree from Creighton University and a DDS from Creighton Boyce School of Dentistry.
He has also served as the president of the Arizona Dental Association and as the vice chairman of the American Dental Association’s Council on Government Affairs.
Gosar lives in flagstaff with his wife Maude and his three children.
Weisser describes himself as the son of a nightclub singer, an accomplished plumber and homeless shelter manager who returned to college at 30 years old and received an MA from University of Illinois and an M Ed. from Northern Arizona University.
He has been teaching middle school and junior high in Bullhead City and Kingman since graduating.
Weisser has been a political activist much of his life, working for Occupy Kingman, heartland Peace Center, MoveOn.Org, amnesty International, Code pink and the phoenix chapter of End the War coalition.
Along with teaching social studies and language arts, Weisser is a performance coach for the Arizona Arts commission, a member of the Arizona Education Association fund council and resolutions committee,
In his spare time he is a touring poet and performer who has performed in Chicago San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Pamelia is a Vietnam combat veteran and former program manger and engineer for Ratheon Space and Airborne Systems, specializing in radar systems.
Born in New Jersey, he has lived around the world and moved to Prescott about a year ago from San Diego.
He has also worked as a juvenile detention officer in Maricopa County. He currently develops and markets mini-seminar training courses for the unemployed and underprivileged.
Pamelia has no previous political experience. He is divorced with two children.