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  Kimball, Richard
NameRichard Kimball
, Arizona , United States
Born Unknown
Last ModifedDavid
Sep 20, 2021 06:37pm
InfoRichard Frederick Kimball

Former State Senator and President of Project Vote Smart.

In 1986, after serving in the Arizona Legislature and the state's Corporation Commission, Kimball ran as a Democrat against John McCain for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barry Goldwater.

His campaign was subject to negative press from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, both owned by McCain benefactor Darrow Tully. One Gazette columnist described him as displaying "terminal weirdness." McCain ultimately won the election by a margin of twenty percent, and is now Arizona's senior Senator.

In his 2002 memoir Worth the Fighting For, McCain described the race and his opponent:

[M]y first race for the Senate was pretty close to a foregone conclusion. I led in the polls from start to finish. My eventual opponent, Richard Kimball, (...) was a tall, good-looking guy who shared his name with the hero of a popular 1960s television drama, The Fugitive. He was a nice man and a well-intentioned public servant. But for all his fine qualities, he was not the first-tier candidate the Democrats had hoped to field.

According to the Project Vote Smart web site, during his closing remarks at a debate, Kimball decided to forgo an attack on McCain in favor of this speech:

Understand what we do to you; we spend all of our time raising money, often from strangers we do not even know. Then we spend it in three specific ways: first we measure you, what it is you want to purchase in the political market place -- just like Campbell's Soup or Kellogg's Cereal. Next we hire some consultants who know how to tailor our image to fit what will sell. Lastly, we bombard you with the meaningless, issueless, emotional nonsense that is always the result. And which ever one of us does that best will win!

In 2006, Kimball commented on the campaign to a reporter from the Arizona Daily Star: "I was enormously depressed — not because I lost. It was because I spent all my time collecting money." He spent the months after the election traveling through Mexico, and has not sought public office since.




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  11/04/1986 AZ US Senate Lost 39.52% (-20.96%)
  11/02/1982 AZ Corporation Commissioner Won 51.47% (+8.26%)
  11/04/1980 AZ State Senate 21 Won 58.37% (+16.76%)
  11/07/1978 AZ State Senate 21 Won 50.77% (+4.74%)