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Busy political weekend ahead

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Busy political weekend ahead

CREATED Apr 20, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It will be a politics-packed weekend in Southern Arizona with the special election for Congressional District 8 just a few weeks away both candidates and their teams will be making the most of the time.

This weekend the Pima County Fair will be more than a place for fun and fried food.  Because it's a hot spot for people, it's a hot spot for politics, so the Congressional campaigns of Jesse Kelly and Ron Barber will be there working to win over voters.
       
Because this is a special election caused by Gabrielle Giffords resignation, the election's in June, not November and that tight timeline means there's not a moment to waste.

Tuesday, while Jesse Kelly took a moment to celebrate his nomination, Ron Barber's backers were working the phone banks.
       
Now, the weekend is a prime time to put volunteers to work.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Kelly grassroots director Lynne St. Angelo:"You've got the weekend ahead, what sort of opportunity does that present for you?"

She replied, "This is a great weekend, we're having several events that are happening this weekend.  Tomorrow afternoon at Republican Headquarters we're having our kickoff, CD8 kickoff campaign and everyone will be there, all the candidates will be there, all the volunteers will be there, and we'll be having, food, and speeches, that's one thing that's happening."
     
Late Friday, the Barber campaign was working the phone banks and planning for face to face contacts.

Craig Smith asked Barber Deputy Campaign Manager Jessica Schultz,  "When you go out on the weekend do you end up knocking on doors in neighborhoods or do you go where the activities take people on the weekends?

Schultz:"It's a combination of both.  We definitely want to be out there visible at all the community events, there's the County Fair starting up.  There's other events around Southern Arizona, certainly we want a presence there but we like talking to individual voters about issues they're concerned about."

This really is a challenging situation for the Kelly and Barber campaigns. They have a very quick run to the election June 12th, then even after we know who won that race, they have to basically keep campaigning for a whole new election for the Congressional District which will have slightly different boundaries and be called District 2.

All campaigns rely on volunteers.  Because of the need to reach a voters very quickly we may see even more use of mass media than usual but campaigns put a very high value on persuasion face to face through meetings with volunteers or ideally, with candidates.