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Upset of Establishment Candidates Set Stage : Offbeat's the Norm in Arizona Governor's Race

October 25, 1986|KENNETH REICH | Times Staff Writer

Warner has a campaign brochure that points out that Schulz "in 1977 announced for governor. Withdrew in 1978. Announced for the U.S. Senate in 1979, then withdrew. Announced again in 1980, ran and lost (but only narrowly to Republican Barry Goldwater). Announced for the 1986 governor's race in 1983, withdrew in 1985, reconsidered a month later, announced that 'under no conditions would he be a candidate for any office in 1986,' then changed his mind again and re-entered the race following the primary elections."

Clarifies Position

Schulz, when asked about this summary, said it was accurate as far as it went.

He noted, however, that he had withdrawn from the governor's race in 1985 only because one of his three daughters developed a severe case of clinical depression and that he had plunged full-time into an effort to prevent her from committing suicide. He said her cure freed him to re-enter politics.

As in all other matters, Schulz is extremely outspoken about his daughter's illness. At a joint appearance with Warner in Phoenix this week, he told the audience that his daughter "was in a program in Boston involving 11 girls. Nine of them committed suicide, the 10th tried, and my daughter was talking about it."

On the way out of the forum, he apologized to one person in the audience who shook his hand for not being more certain on the campaign issues. "If I had that year I lost, I'd be better prepared," he said.

During the period he was out of the race, however, Schulz did issue a lengthy paper on what kind of governor he might be and what policies he would follow. The written paper has landed him in some trouble in the campaign for its suggestions that some military bases ought to be shut down in the state and the state hospital ought to be demolished if the properties could be put to more profitable uses.

Shifts Bilingual Stand

But Schulz's positions change so quickly that it is sometimes hard to keep up with them. Speaking, for instance, before a meeting of the Hispanic Bar Assn. in Phoenix, he confessed to changes in his position on bilingualism.

He said that he has originally supported bilingualism out of the thought it would prove a cost-saving measure for the state. "I felt, if we all learned both English and Spanish together, then there would be no need for bilingual ballots, because we'd all speak English, and we could save 20 to 25% in ballot printing costs," he said. "But then I learned some don't speak English, so I favor a bilingual ballot." And, besides, he added, regardless of costs, he supports "a bilanguage culture for the whole state." All Anglo schoolchildren, he said, should be required to learn Spanish.

For a candidate who is actively appealing for Republican votes as well as Democratic ones, such statements might appear to be politically disadvantageous. But the only reporter in the room when Schulz made those remarks was from out-of-state. There are so many debates and joint appearances between candidates in the Arizona governor's race--sometimes more than one a day--that the press doesn't cover all of them.

Both Schulz, and Warner's husband, Ron, are members of the Phoenix 40, a self-perpetuating civic group that is at the heart of the Arizona Establishment. Mecham, having defeated the Establishment candidate in the Republican primary, is now vocally making the point that he is not a member.

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