Mary Rose Wilcox is a career politician from Phoenix’ South side who runs a Democrat political machine some have compared to Daley’s in Chicago. She was running in the Democrat primary for a an open congressional seat in the deep blue safe seventh district of Arizona, one of the few Grand Canyon State districts that’s safe for Democrats. The former Maricopa County supervisor had name recognition, a formidable organization and money on her side. And she decided to differentiate herself from her main opposition, Ruben Gallego, by being more willing to chip away at Second Amendment rights . . .
Gallego is rated by the NRA as a B+, not much of a distinction in Arizona, really. Wilcox seemed to think that pushing for severe restrictions on peoples’ ability to keep and bear firearms would work for her and paint the Marine and Harvard-trained attorney as an ‘extremist.’
Wilcox, who was shot in the hip in 1997 by an angry constituent, has kept gun control front and center during the campaign, although not always successfully. She brought up Gallego’s vote at a recent debate; in June, her husband, Earl, confronted Gallego at a gun control rally, alleging that he was a “traitor to the cause.” Gallego, a former NRA member, has said he brought a handgun to work at the state capitol after receiving threats, but supports a ban on assault rifles and the county buyback program Wilcox helped to start.
Wilcox isn’t known for subtlety. Many have attributed her reputation for corruption to the fact that she was shot. In any case, her anti-rights attacks on Gallego didn’t work.
She lost the primary yesterday, managing to get only 36% of the vote. Gallego, won with 48% in a four-candidate field. Interesting enough, in this hotly-contested primary which essentially decided who will be representing the “safe seventh”, only 24,189 people voted.
Being for restrictive gun control didn’t work for Mary Rose Wilcox. Being perceived as a modestly pro-gun rights candidate in a very pro-gun state worked for Ruben Gallego.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.