AZ-8: Rep. Trent Franks (R) to Resign

Multiple sources are reporting that eighth-term Rep. Trent Franks (R) is resigning tonight… we don’t know the details yet but it seems likely he was caught up in the #pervnado (Update: Franks apparently asked staffers to be his surrogate…mmkay.) Franks will apparently leave office at the end of January. The decision opens up his R+13 AZ-8 in a special election, which must occur relatively quickly by AZ law. The seat covers the middle-class and heavily Republican northwest corner of the Phoenix metro area, including Surprise, Peoria, and most of Glendale. The seat, one of the four GOP vote sinks in the Mathismander, is somewhat more downscale than AZ-6 next door and heavy with snowbird retirees; the Dem base here is largely Hispanic. The seat should stay safely in GOP hands barring something seriously unexpected.

The Great Mentioner could start with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R), who is currently primarying incompetent incumbent SoS Michele Reagan (R) but could switch here as an easier race. Another statewide condender, State Sen. and Treasurer candidate Kimberly Yee (R), represents a piece of the seat (though I believe she lives outside it) and could move here. State Sen. Debbie Lesko (R) is definitely worth watching as well. The final State Senator in the seat, Judy Burges (R), is probably too old to be interested at 74. There are also roughly 7 GOP State Reps. in or near the seat. From local office, Maricopa County supervisor Clint Hickman (R) is the obvious name to watch as he represents essentially the entire seat. Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers (R) and Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat (R) could also be names to watch. Theoretically ex-Rep. and Heir Force Maj. Brock Landers Ben Quayle could also make a comeback attempt here. Democrats are unlikely to seriously contest this seat, but they do have one candidate worth watching in Surprise Mayor Sharon Marko-Wolcott (D), who was a Minnesota State Senator (!) and ran for MN-2 back in 2006.

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  • HS December 7, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Unfortunately, I am not surprised. For over a decade I have heard stories about him being a ladies man. His staff always had a large proportion of attractive women too. I never heard about any sexual harassment, but it is quite possible that was part of it as well.

  • Son_of_the_South December 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    I’d expect more to come if the CNN/WaPo rumor is true. In fact, I’d expect a few dozen more.

    24, R, TN-09
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • Indy1975a December 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      If there are that many more, I’d be ok with them just retiring at the end of the term (except for the especially egregious ones).

      Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

      • GoldenStatesman December 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm

        So who’s going to draft the pool? Will there be any females included?

        24, R, CA-38, Cubano, Community College Trustee

        • Left Coast Libertarian December 7, 2017 at 7:07 pm

          When I was a young assistant in the 90’s I made a suggestion of publication to advertise in to my female boss. She asked if I was sleeping with the sales rep. I can’t imagine that all women in congress are squeaky clean.

          • Red Oaks December 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

            I’m sure there are some female politicians who aren’t so clean. Part of the reason they are not getting in trouble now is that woman rarely make the first move. The male politicians are getting busted not for affairs per se but because they are attempting to initiate sexual encounters and woman are turning them down. If there are prominent women sleeping around I suspect they never had to make the first move and risk rejection/get hit with a harassment claim to get it.

            MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

      • roguemapper December 7, 2017 at 6:31 pm

        As far as I’m concerned if it’s enough for them to retire then it’s enough for them to resign and be gone right away. I’d be perfectly ok with that regardless of how many there are. I see no reason for them to stick around.

        Dem NC-11

        • Left Coast Libertarian December 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

          If they’ve been exposed the way John Conyers has, there’s no reason. If they haven’t, retiring at the end of the term with no one finding out if fine with me.

          • roguemapper December 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

            Well, yes. If their misbehavior isn’t public knowledge then I’m also fine with retirement at the end of the term.

            Dem NC-11

  • Izengabe December 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    How far away does Kellie Ward live from this district?

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • roguemapper December 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Kelli Ward lives in Lake Havasu City on the California border. AZ-08 is the northwest Phoenix suburbs.

      Dem NC-11

  • Boehnerwasright December 7, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    So Franks is resigning because he asked 2 female staffers to be a surrogate for his baby. Not nearly as bad as what other people have done, but why in the world would he think that is an good idea.

    • Left Coast Libertarian December 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Why in the world would he think that is an good idea is a question that’s been asked about a lot of these men over the last couple of months.

    • HS December 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      He asked them? That is it?

      • andrew_1918 December 7, 2017 at 7:12 pm

        “My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages..Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others”

        • SlippingJimmy December 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm

          Left-wing Twitter is already drawing comparisons between this and the Handmaid’s Tale.

          Republican, TX-22.

          • Greyhound December 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm

            Franks is now officially my least favorite Congressman of all time for reminding me of that POS book. That and Beloved are numbers 2 and 1 on my list of the worst pieces of literature I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading, and if I ever became president the one and only thing I’d do is order every copy of those books removed from every high school in the country so that no one else would have to suffer like I suffered.

            R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

            • Son_of_the_South December 7, 2017 at 9:29 pm

              Yeah, it sucked. I took a dystopian fiction class as an elective, and I had to read it. Thankfully, I never had to read Beloved. A lot of my friends who got the wrong AP English teacher had to read it, though. I heard multiple reports from non-conservatives that to pass her class, you had to put liberal messages in her papers. If you did, you passed easily. If you didn’t, you might still pass, but it was a lot harder. My high school had a very politically diverse faculty. Everything from old-school socialists and modern progressives to paleocons and libertarians.

              24, R, TN-09
              Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

              • Indy1975a December 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm

                So if you wrote a garbage paper but filled it with liberal propaganda, you would do well? That’s awful.

                Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

                • californianintexas December 7, 2017 at 10:43 pm

                  Yeah, that seems stupid. I never had to put anything political, liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, etc. in my papers, not even in Environmental Science.

                  34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31),

                  • Republican Michigander December 7, 2017 at 11:41 pm

                    I did once on a pop quiz in a required leftist class. I missed a propaganda video since those ALMOST never got quizzed. This time it did since people didn’t show up. I BS’ed the quiz since I knew some of the subject matter, put leftist propaganda (I was libertarian then so that was painful), and got a 3.5 on it. LOL.

                    This was about 20 years ago, so I could just imagine how much worse it is these days.

                    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

                  • Son_of_the_South December 8, 2017 at 12:32 am

                    Yeah, well this was a private school with a lot of very opinionated faculty. It was generally pretty conservative (as was the student body generally), but the school seemed to attract strong personalities. A lot of faculty liked this woman personally. and she was very involved with the school. A lot of AP English students actually preferred to take her class and just BS their way through it by sounding liberal because the other teacher who taught it was a taskmaster. He was an outright socialist, though he graded fairly but harshly no matter your viewpoint. A lot of guys just took the easy way out. There was one very conservative English teacher (he taught the poetry class), but most of the department was liberal. This is in contrast to the history department, which was and still is a hot-bed of conservative thought. One of my high school history teachers thinks that we should go back to Senators being elected by state legislatures.

                    24, R, TN-09
                    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

                    • VastBlightKingConspiracy December 8, 2017 at 11:25 am

                      My only interaction with conservatives as a student were from the science/math/PE teachers, who ended up being disproportionately conservative – a lot of religious (often evangelical) women. Also a lot of hilariously right-wing Eastern Europeans/Israelis (with a great deal of overlap lol) in science/math who were strong believers in The Bell Curve and social darwinism and that kind of stuff.

                      I did once have an aging Italian Communist teacher who I really enjoyed, because he was the kind who was also really outraged stuff by Prague Spring and Che’s persecution of homosexuals and Soviet ethnic cleansing and that kind of stuff. Far preferable to the utterly vapid and atrocity-apologism socialism of today’s millenials.

                      I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • Mike1965 December 7, 2017 at 9:41 pm

                You are making me feel old, . I never read the book in school because it came out after I graduated.

                I did coincidentally just start watching the TV show on Hulu, petty good through 2 episodes.


              • Greyhound December 7, 2017 at 9:52 pm

                Oh, it had nothing to do with ideology. Beloved in particular isn’t even particularly Left-wing in concept (“Slavery sucked” is a pretty universal conceit). It is just the single worst written book I have ever laid eyes on, for reasons that are almost impossible to describe. There is so much wrong with that book that I feel like I’d need an entire Netflix miniseries to cover it all.

                True fact–For our group presentation on the themes of that book, our thesis was that Morrison’s goal in writing the book was to confuse the reader as much as possible. I am not kidding, we wrote that on our poster. It was probably the closest my timid ass has ever come to an act of civil disobedience.

                R, 27, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

                • Son_of_the_South December 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

                  Oh no, I didn’t think the two things were connected. A lot of people who took that class both complained about imposition of politics on their grades and complained about how much Beloved sucked as a book.

                  24, R, TN-09
                  Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

            • AJNolte December 8, 2017 at 10:53 am

              I don’t know much about the other book, but
              I’d vote for you just on Handmaid’s Tale grounds. If Atwood had written that piece of tripe about literally any category of people in the world other than Evangelicals, or maybe Catholics, she would have been hounded out of polite society, rather than treated as a literary icon.

              33, male, VA-02, libertarian so-con hawk, Semi-persuadable Trump skeptic.

      • roguemapper December 7, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        He claims that is it. There’s a difference. Whatever it was, Paul Ryan thought it merited a referral to the ethics committee.

        Dem NC-11

        • HS December 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          Yeah – I can’t believe that is all of it. And I can’t believe I’m agreeing with RM. 😉

          • Ryan_in_SEPA December 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

            This sounds like a nice cover.

            31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

        • Tekzilla December 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

          Yup, IMO zero chance thats all that happened. And if it is what happened it was likely phrased very differently if you know what I mean.

          36/M/NY-01 (D)

          • Izengabe December 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm

            My guess is that the conversation went something like this:
            Ryan: What the f***Trent! This is the g**damn Handmaid’s Tale! How the f*** did you think this s**t could fly? Really? Really? Come on!

            Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

          • Indy1975a December 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            Perhaps he communicated to his aides that he wanted them to have his baby… conceived by natural means.

            Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • Jon Henrik Gilhuus December 7, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    He’s also resigning as of Jan 31. No idea why he would drag it out like that?

    The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
    - P.J. O'Rourke

    • Tekzilla December 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      I though that was strange as well. Very long window for something that he felt he had to get in front of so quickly.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

  • cer December 7, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    @DebbieLesko is definitely interested.

    Conservative first, Republican second!

  • edtorres04 December 7, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I don’t get this at all. It seems like he didn’t do anything wrong based on his statement?

    • dforston December 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      If it was done in a respectful way, then it’s a far cry from sexual assault

    • Izengabe December 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      He was asking government employees who worked for him to carry his child! That’s kind of a no no.

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • Left Coast Libertarian December 7, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        Any time you ask someone that works for you to do something personal for you then you’ve crossed a line.

      • ike56 December 7, 2017 at 9:13 pm

        Was it respectful? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough; if he merely broached the subject clumsily, it’s more a question of poor judgment vice nefarious intent.

        Now, if he wanted to supply the XY chromosomes himself directly into the surrogates, well, we clearly have another matter!

        38, USN CPO (CA-52, stuck with Scott Peters until a good candidate comes along).

        • Indy1975a December 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm

          My suspicion is your second sentence. I can no longer give these public officials the benefit of the doubt, even for someone like Franks (who has done good work fighting for unborn children).

          Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • davybaby December 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Franks & I were once at adjacent urinals at the airport. All I can say is he didn’t try anything funny with me!


  • Indy1975a December 7, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Too bad as well. Franks was one of the strongest advocates for the unborn. But if he has been having (or even planning to have) affairs, he needs to go. If you aren’t faithful to your spouse, I can’t trust you in public office.

    If all he did was to suggest to two women on his staff to be a surrogate for his child *and* this was done on personal time, he shouldn’t resign.

    Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • davybaby December 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Comeback opportunity for Ben Quayle?

    • Son_of_the_South December 7, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I hope so

      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • Izengabe December 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        Ditto. He was heir force but Quayle had one of the most conservative voting records during his one term in office

        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • aas34 December 9, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Steve Montenegro announced on a Facebook that Cong. Franks asked him to run for his seat.

    I cannot imagine him announcing this publicly if he wasn’t going to drop down to run here and he’s likely going to be the heavy favorite to win it.

    32, R, CA-2

    • shamlet December 9, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Yee is also interested. Would Montenegro really be a significant favorite against Yee and Lesko? A big chunk of Montenegro’s seat is in Yuma.

      R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

      • aas34 December 10, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        I’m assuming he’s going to get Franks’ institutional support; outside $ with the club for growth; and socon support, particularly over Yee. And with him being a Latino that doubles as a border hawk, I don’t see any particular weaknesses in him in a primary, especially in a special election with such a short window to attack him.

        32, R, CA-2

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