Over 125 people showed up to hear Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and "Joe the Plumber" speak at a fundraiser for Arizona Senator Lori Klein.
In case you've not heard of Klein, she is running for LD1 against incumbent Representative Karen Fann and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, hails from Anthem, which was added to the mostly-Yavapai County district last fall through the statewide redistricting process.
Friday night, Klein brought some of her out-of-town friends to Prescott for a fundraiser. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is well-known throughout Arizona and the entire country, with a reputation as a fierce defender against illegal immigration.
Arpaio spoke of his loyalty to Klein, "When someone supports me, like Lori, I don't care what she runs for, I'm going to support her... We need Lori to balance us out. I'm going to do everything I can to get her in there... Lori, thank you for everything you've done for Maricopa County, now you're going to do it for Yavapai. They're lucky to have you."
The topics he touched on included the Tea Party, Tent City and the Obama documents (which Arpaio stated with conviction are forged). He also took a few good-hearted jabs at Prescott and Yavapai County even at one point asking if there was cable television in this area, and joked that Sheriff Mascher wasn't on television often enough.
After a brief time for folks to finish eating, Klein spoke for a few moments to introduce Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka 'Joe the Plumber,' who she met several years ago as she worked on the campaign trail for the Fair Tax. Fast forward to 2012, and now Wurzelbacher is a candidate for Congress himself (see: JoeforCongress2012.org), having defeated his primary opponent in Ohio's 9th Congressional District.
"Joe is absolutely delightful," Klein said. "He really has a depth of knowledge of political issues that are facing this country, and he'd be great to get into office."
Joe responded that he was obviously biased, stating he liked Lori Klein a great deal.
"She didn't back down and become a part of the problem," Wurzelbacher said, challenging the audience to do it's homework and check out Klein's record. "You really want people in office that are going to do something for you."
He obviously wasn't afraid to wade into Arizona's political issues, either. "For years I've said, 'Put a damn fence on that border going to Mexico and start shooting...' that's how I feel. I'm not going to hide it just because I'm running for office. I want the borders protected, and I'm very adamant about that."
Klein ended the evening with a few more comments of her own. She described herself as a 'movement Conservative' stating that she was able to work on Reagan's campaign in the '80s; she had worked on Capitol HIll; for the Republican National Committee; and in various lobbyist and public relations positions.
Stating that she was "very shocked" when she first ran for Senate and won, Klein accredited it to endorsements from Russell Pierce, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Trent Franks.
"The only reason I'm running... is because we passed very good conservative bills out of the Senate. Those bills, to give you an example, were anti-union bills. They were 'boots on the ground'. They were school choice... We also had a deregulation bill, which would create more jobs. Those were killed in the House. So, I started looking at the records of my House colleagues, and I realized that I was far more conservative than they were."
Also in attendance were Prescott City Councilman Chris Kuknyo and Mayor Marlin Kuykendall. Asked if his attendance was an endorsement of Klein, Kuykendall shook his head. "I don't make endorsements in the primary," Kuykendall explained. "But, I was invited and I also wanted to make sure we welcomed our guests to Prescott."
Sheriff Arpaio speaks for the first 14 minutes; Klein speaks from 14:15 - 16:30; Joe the Plumber starts at 16:35; and Klein's closing remarks start at 31 minutes.