Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dennis Burke: Democrat for Senate? ***UPDATED***

Dennis Burke, Possible U.S. Senate Candidate
It was announced today the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for Arizona, Dennis Burke, has resigned his office, effective today.  To me, I find it rather odd that an AUSA would resign in the middle of his term, especially since he has been spearheading a very high profile investigation into Sheriff Arpaio and Mr. Burke is not involved in any known scandal.

The only conclusion that I can draw is that Andrei Cherny, the head of the Arizona Democratic Party, has recruited Mr. Burke to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jon Kyl in 2012.  To me, that would be a very logical decision on Mr. Burke's part.  He could just as easily have been recruited to run for the new House seat being created due to the 2010 census, but I just don't see that option being very valid, not considering Mr. Burke's status.

Mr. Burke is not a liberal, but is instead a moderate to conservative Democrat.  That makes him a strong challenger to anyone who the Republicans pick to run for Senator Kyl's seat.  In Arizona, it is much easier for a moderate to conservative Democrat to win a state-wide election, as seen by the election of former Governor Janet Napolitano (now Secretary of Department of Homeland Security), than for a liberal Democrat.  Liberal Democrats are more likely to win in a Congressional or legislative race, especially after redistricting.

Now, one could reasonably ask, why wouldn't Secretary Napolitano want to run for Senator Kyl's seat.  The simple answer is that I think she is very comfortable at DHS and should President Obama win a second term, she would be fairly easily reconfirmed or even confirmed as Attorney General.  The more complicated answer is that many Arizona Democrats feel that Secretary Napolitano abandoned her post as Governor and gave us Governor Jan Brewer.  Many feel this set Arizona and the Democratic Party in Arizona back many years, if not decades.

Of course, all of this speculation.  I don't know for a fact that Mr. Burke will run for the U.S. Senate, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he did.  What are your thoughts on Mr. Burke's resignation?


It now appears that Mr. Burke resigned due to the failed ATF Operation Fast & Furious.


  1. First, there is NO SUCH THING as a "moderate" "conservative" DUMBacrat. Second, Sheriff Joe Arpaio should be the next senator from Arizona.

  2. Anonymous,

    Thank you for your comment and thank you for reading Phoenix Justice.


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