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Richard Kimball is an American politician, and founder of the nonprofit voter education organization Project Vote Smart.

Richard Kimball
Member of the Arizona Corporation Commission
In office
January 1983 – September 1985
Preceded byJim Weeks
Succeeded bySharon Megdal
Personal details
Born1946 (age 72–73)
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Arizona
ProfessionActivist
Politician

Early lifeEdit

Kimball was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1946.[1] Kimball attended the University of Arizona where he studied political science. He was a staff assistant to Congressman Morris Udall and worked as a press secretary for Senators Walter Mondale and Daniel Moynihan.[2]

Political careerEdit

In 1978, Kimball was elected to represent an area of Phoenix in the Arizona Senate. In the 1982 general election, Kimball was elected to a six year term on the Arizona Corporation Commission for a six year term. In January 1984, his fellow commission members elected him the chairman of the board.[1] In September 1985, Kimball resigned from his position as a member of the commission.[3] Governor Bruce Babbitt appointed Sharon Megdal, a member of the University of Arizona's economics faculty, to the seat.[4]

1986 U.S. Senate electionEdit

After the expected Democratic candidate, Governor Bruce Babbitt, declined to run in favor of a presidential campaign, Kimball was nominated as the Democratic candidate against then-Congressman John McCain for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barry Goldwater.[5] His campaign was subject to negative press from The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. One Gazette columnist described him as displaying "terminal weirdness."[6] McCain ultimately won the election by a margin of over 20 percent.[7] Kimball later said: "I joke that John McCain entered the Senate over my dead political body. I think that's pretty accurate."[8]

Twenty years later, 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 said that he spent the following months after the election traveling through Mexico, and then left politics to start Project Vote Smart.[9]

Project Vote SmartEdit

He is currently the president of the organization.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Arizona Corporation Commission 72nd Annual Report" (PDF). June 30, 1984. p. 6. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  3. ^ Lamb, Ginger L. (ed.). "Arizona News Service 2014 Political Almanac" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona News Service. p. 57. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  4. ^ "Arizona Corporation Commission 75th Annual Report" (PDF). June 30, 1987. p. 3. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  5. ^ McCain, John; Salter, Mark (September 24, 2002). Worth the Fighting For: A Memoir. Random House Publishing Group. p. 135. ISBN 9781588362582. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Nowicki, D. & Muller, B. (2007, March 1). The Senate calls. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  7. ^ Dendy Jr., Dallas L. (May 29, 1987). Anderson, Donnald K. (ed.). Election Results 1986 "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986" Check |url= value (help). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Senator John McCain: His early political career
  9. ^ Innes, Stephanie (November 9, 2006). "Candidates on losing end of election cope differently". The Arizona Daily Star.
  10. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018-08-16.