Published Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 | 7:50 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 | 10:07 p.m.
Personal crises, including a domestic dispute, will preclude Republican Assemblywoman Francis Allen from defending her seat against Democrat Craig Ballew in the race for Assembly District 4. She has conceded the race to challenger Richard McArthur.
Allen won about 23.6 percent of the vote thus far, with 83.3 percent of the precincts reporting. McArthur, who lost to Allen in a nomination battle four years ago, has 46.7 percent of the vote.
The incumbent, 30, also faced political neophytes Andrew Brownson, a 35-year-old waiter, and 69-year-old retiree Flo Jones. Brownson has 22.7 percent of the vote, and Jones has almost 7.1 percent.
In a statement, Allen said: "It was a tough campaign, but I managed to stay positive throughout and I'm proud of that."
If the results hold up, McArthur will challenge Ballew, a political unknown who was the lone Democrat to file for the seat, in the Nov. 4 general election. The district leans Republican, so an early edge would seem to favor McArthur, a retired member of the Air Force and FBI.
As the Sun reported Saturday, a host of problems have plagued Allen in the last five months.
She's now divorcing the man she married in March, Paul Maineri. She allegedly stabbed him during a May dispute, but charges against her were dropped last month when Maineri testified that he accidentally hurt himself.
And a month after their marriage, a local florist complained to the state Ethics Commission that Allen still hadn’t paid a bill of about $5,000.
McArthur has, on paper, favorable credentials for a conservative in a Republican primary. Besides his professional experience in the military and FBI, he opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants and is pro-gun.
Yet Brownson and Jones campaigned more extensively than McArthur in the final week, especially Brownson. The waiter at an MGM Grand restaurant took a leave of absence earlier this summer to canvass the district by vehicle or phone 10 hours each day. Brownson told voters the Republican Party had lost its way. “It’s bankrupt,” he told the Sun.
A small army of volunteers rotated, aiding Brownson. One volunteer would drive while another would navigate the driver and instruct Brownson, who was next on the street to meet potential voters. At least one sliding door on the Toyota Sienna was open at all times to allow for quick transport.
Allen and Brownson crisscrossed the district at jaunty paces. They didn’t have too much time to engage potential voters, but if the residents asked questions, the candidates politely obliged.
Jones, who lives in Sun City Summerlin, probably made the least inroads among potential voters. The heat precluded her from walking much, and while she and a friend called residents, Jones speculated she reached maybe 40 percent of the potential electorate.
She said she didn’t specifically target residents of Sun City Summerlin, but a major impetus for her campaign was to discourage a failed legislative bill that she believes would have raised fees to residents in HOAs from being reincarnated.