Payson Mayor Kenny Evans this week joined 30 other Arizona mayors in endorsing Arizona Senator John McCain, who faces a challenge in the Republican primary from former Phoenix Congressman J.D. Hayworth.
Evans said “I have never known a man who has worked harder, studied more diligently nor stood taller. When faced with what seemed like impossible odds, Sen. McCain has repeatedly and consistently been there to help me as mayor and to help the regular home folks as well to navigate the tangled mess of federal red tape and get the services our voters deserve.”
Evans made a joint appearance this week with 31 other mayors to back McCain’s bid for a fifth, six-year term, including Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.
Evans said he had supported Hayworth in his bids for Congress, driving all over the congressional district with him in the early going.
However, he said that Hayworth is a political “bomb thrower,” whose focus on attacks would only contribute to the existing partisanship. “We don’t need any more bomb throwers right now,” said Evans — pointing to the near paralysis that has gripped both Congress and the state Legislature in the face of the nation’s economic woes.
Hayworth has snagged the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and has mounted a vigorous challenge, claiming that McCain isn’t a true conservative and hasn’t done enough to oppose bank bailouts.
As it happens, McCain will make an appearance in Payson on Saturday. He will stage a series of events at the Payson High School auditorium, all open to the public. He will take questions from elected officials from 10 to 10:45, from business leaders from 10:45 to 11:30 and from teachers and students from 11:30 to noon. He will then talk and take questions at an open Town Hall starting at noon.
Hayworth made a speech in Payson earlier this week, trying to steal McCain’s thunder in Rim Country.
In addition, one of the already declared Democratic candidates for the seat, Tucson Vice Mayor Rodney Glassman, will also stage an appearance in Payson on Friday and Saturday.
A lawyer and a U.S. Air Force Naval Reserve officer with a Ph.D. in arid land resources science, Glassman will meet with elected officials at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Tiny’s Restaurant before speaking at a 7:30 musical fund-raiser for Time Out, the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity and the food bank. On Saturday morning at 9, he will host a town hall session at the meeting room in Tiny’s.