Dave Ortega has run a surprising and effective campaign to be Scottsdale’s next Mayor. He’s also been very lucky. But everyone needs some of that to win.
This morning we saw this Ortega ad on . . . The Drudge Report. Notwithstanding the popular website’s move away from Trump, it’s long been a clearinghouse for conservative eyeballs.
Whether Ortega is buying ads on the Drudge Report or simply having them repopulated there through digital retargeting we do not know.
But we do know it encapsulates his success to date. He is winning big among city Democrats, slightly with Independents and is competitive with Republicans. This, despite being a life-long Democrat, only recently re-registering as an Independent. Indeed, Ortega was once the Democratic nominee for County Supervisor against Republican Steve Chucri and has been a financial backer of some very liberal Arizona Democrats.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing this year, even in Republican heavy Scottsdale. Ortega has had a street smart about this since the get go. National media talks of suburban Republicans being weary of Trump. That has a down ballot benefit for candidates like Ortega and is creating major problems for people like Republican Congressman David Schweikert.
While Ortega competitor Lisa Borowsky herself ran a terrific primary campaign she is not yet understanding this year’s electoral shift, still running in the mayoral General election like it is a Republican dominant year like 2010 or 2014.
Yes, she needs to consolidate more Republicans to have a chance. But that won’t be enough, this year. She has to make more inroads with Democrats and Independents too. She has arguments to make, but can she shake her too Republican-centric focus in time? That, and whether she digs even deeper into her pockets, will decide this race.
But right now it is advantage Ortega. He’s getting that it’s 2020 and is even playing offense in unlikely places like the Drudge Report.