Legislative District 9 candidate Randy Friese got an unlikely (albeit indirect) endorsement in his race to unseat incumbent Ethan Orr tonight.

The Alliance of Principled Conservatives, which is being backed locally by former State Senator Frank Antenori and political consultant Christine Bauserman, has released a “blacklist” of 15 Republicans it wants out of the statehouse.

Although the list notes three candidates: John McComish, Doris Goodale and Rich Crandall are no longer seeking another term or have already left the legislature.

The group is an independent expenditure group, although Bauserman, the Chair of Alliance of Principled Conservatives, declined to say who is funding the group or what their next steps would be in the 77 days before the Aug. 26 primary.

The list primarily focuses on Republicans in the Phoenix metro area, although LD9 Rep. Orr made the list in an unusual way.

Failing to line up their own conservative candidate to run against Orr, the group is telling Republicans to “leave the bubble blank” hoping that enough Republicans will opt out of voting in the LD9 race.

This option, however, will hand a victories to incumbent Rep. Victoria Steele and political newcomer, Friese, in the Dem-leaning district. Both are Democrats.

The group also targeted two LD11 candidates. The group has targeted Jo Grant, a former legislative coordinator for the Arizona legislature, in the house race — asking GOP voters to back Realtor Mark Finchem, small business owner Vince Leach.

In the Senate race in LD11, the group blacklisting “future Brewercrat” Scott Bartle and asking them to vote for Rep. Steve Smith in his race to take Al Melvin’s senate seat.

The group endorses LD8 candidate Darla Dawald but calls incumbents {span}Frank Pratt{/span} and {span}T.J. Shope{/span} as traitors to the GOP.

On Monday night, Antenori labeled Orr and others “Legistraitors” for backing Common Core and last year’s expansion of Medicaid backed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

{div}”The Alliance of Principled Conservatives formed to give a voice to the frustrated people in Arizona. Governor Brewer and 15 republican legislators surrendered Arizona to a progressive agenda giving forcing Obamacare / Common Core and a deficit budget upon the hardworking taxpayers in Arizona,” Antenori and Bauserman said in a prepared released. “It is time to face the reality that we do not have a Republican majority because of these traitors and that they have formed a new Progressive-Liberal-Caucus.”{/div}

{div} {/div}

{div}”The Alliance of Principled Conservatives is an Independent Expenditure with one mission: defeat as many of the turncoats as we can with limited government and fiscally sane conservatives. We plan to do this by running hard-hitting campaigns throughout the state and stopping the insanity of protecting anyone with an ‘R’ beside their name,” the duo said in a prepared released. {/div}

A full list can be found here.

{span style=”font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11.818181991577148px;”}Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson{/span}


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.