A Political Rising Star Crashes and Burns: Jevin Hodge as a Cautionary Tale

Photo Credit: Patrick Breen, Arizona Republic

As the saying goes, the faster the rise the bigger the fall. And while the rise of Jevin Hodge as an Arizonan political figure wasn’t necessarily fast in the political sense, he is a 30-year old who managed to get the attention of much of the local Democratic establishment by a young age. Now the attention he has is of a negative variety.

For those who are unaware, Hodge had worked his way up the Democratic political establishment to become a party-supported candidate, first running for the Board of Supervisors and losing by a razor-thin margin in 2020, then running against David Schweikert for the U.S. Congress and losing by a tight margin. He parlayed his charisma and non-offensive, largely bland policy positions into an appointment to the Arizona legislature.

And just like that, his past came roaring back; where he was booted out of and banned from the George Washington college campus after sexual improprieties came to light. You can read the details for yourself, but suffice it to say that they flew directly in the face of his squeaky-clean public image, as did his attempt to sue the victim for daring to besmirch his reputation by speaking the truth. That simply will not fly in today’s Democratic party; if it was something decades in the past, perhaps it would be more forgivable, but four years after these events he was running for office.

Democrats should have listened to us. Less than two years ago we wrote, “He is known for having ingratiated himself as much as possible to DC interests, and his fundraising of north of $715K (and CoH north of $270K) demonstrate a degree of success there. His attempted past as a motivational speaker as someone in their early 20’s and resume bolstering as a head of a non-profit are not the makings of a legitimate, serious person however, not for a district full of true professionals and accomplished individuals. He has an honorary degree at Fake It Til You Make It University, and will likely win public office at some point if he keeps trying (see also: Rodney Glassman), but it’s tough to see this being that instance.”

The writing was on the wall. Serious people don’t throw their hat in the ring for three very different political seats in three years. You know who does that? Egomaniacs who are obsessed with power and glory. Serious people in their late 20’s understand that they have a ways to go before they’re in a position to be effective leaders in society. You know who doesn’t? Narcissists. And you know who fancies themselves motivational speakers in their early 20’s? Egomaniacal narcissists to an incredible degree. And it’s shocking that so few people apparently saw through this.

This is a good time for reflection. Democrats have been chasing the charisma of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama over experience and effectiveness for too long. We deserve people with practical leadership experience, good judgment, and enough years lived to have perspective, not a ring chaser. Those are the leaders we need, not good speech-givers.