Putting Politics Aside – We have a Republic to Save


To debate or not to debate? Should this even be a question?

In my personal opinion, the answer is a very emphatic “No”.  Unfortunately, as we continue to see, more and more candidates are choosing not to openly debate their opponents in a public arena. Certainly, it is the candidate’s choice how they wish to run their campaigns.  Perhaps the candidates may wish to consider what is the desire of their voters.

Remember us “We the People”.  As much as I dislike the following statement: “You work for us” as it is too often used inappropriately, the fact is as elected officials, you do work for us and you are coming up for your employee renewal interview!

To the candidates who are seeking to be employed by “We the People,” your responsiveness to us as your future employer is crucial.  If we ask you to come in for an interview, then it is expected you will be there.

Every candidate in every election is once again looking for our vote.  Therefore it is up to  “We the People,”  as the employer, to set the standards and policy guidelines for our hiring criteria.

There is something to be said for a candidate to take their time and appear at (what now seems to be the norm), we call “forums”. The candidate gets to introduce themselves and provide their talking points on how great they are. We’ll call this the candidate’s resume.  If the candidate wants to say the same thing over and over again, please, save everyone a great deal of time and mail in your talking points, as you’re not saying anything different than what you have on your websites.

The interview process for many businesses takes several steps before a potential employee is to be considered worthy to join that company. When it comes to elected officials and candidates, for me personally, the final interview is a good ole fashioned debate between the candidates. I want to see them sweat. I want to see their leadership skills in action. I want to see how they perform under fire.

The sad truth is that we as voters have become complacent in our expectations of our candidates, to the extent that many candidates just no longer feel the need to answer or respond to the voter.  Some candidates will no longer openly debate their opponents; thereby taking away our ability, as a voter, to personally compare each candidate’s vision, policies, temperament, and their ability to perform, in the position they are seeking.

Our Mission Statement for our Yavapai County Chapter of AZRA, states in part:

#2. “Vetting all candidates running for a political or judicial office of Yavapai County, whether partisan or non-partisan positions, including those seeking re-election; and to vet new candidates and incumbents seeking re-election for State and Federal positions”.

In the past, I have posted many articles regarding candidates who have stepped up and responded in one way or another to our vetting process as well as those candidates who have refused to respond:

It is with much disappointment that the most recent candidate to decide not to debate their opponent is Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes. I was recently informed Sheriff Rhodes will only do a Forum, he will NOT debate his opponent candidate Doug Eckenrod.  Therefore, we as voters need to ask the question why?

Why did Sheriff Rhodes choose not to respond to our questionnaire?

Doug Eckenrod did.

Why did Sheriff Rhodes not respond to do a video interview? Doug Eckenrod did?

Certainly, the candidates and their campaigning schedules can be very hectic, but our vetting started back in November 2023. We have also extended additional response times and offered special accommodations to candidates.

To be very clear, we have identified many candidates for their failure to respond to our questionnaires and we have publicly provided the responses from those candidates who have responded. This is yet another opportunity for the voters to be made aware of how candidates will or will not address the inquiries of the voter.

The information contained herein is not to be construed or interpreted in any way, as an endorsement or support, in favor of one candidate over another by this author or any member of the Yavapai County Chapter of AZRA.  It is information only.

Ultimately, You the voter will decide.

Please join our Yavapai County Chapter of AZRA.  and  help us hold all our elected officials and candidates accountable to “We the People”.

David Segall aka Cowboy Dave – Pres. Yavapai County Chapter AZRA

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