Most polls have Napolitano with a commanding lead over her potential Republican rivals, so Munsil will have to catch fire quickly in the general election with issues that please his conservative base and appeal to moderates. Napolitano hopes to grab a good chunk of Republican votes by touting an agenda that she says reflects mainstream Arizona. That means a lot of talk about the economy, education and health care.
The clock is ticking. Early ballots will be mailed out to voters in less than five weeks.
As the underdog, Munsil probably will frame the debate around two hot-button issues: illegal immigration and banning gay marriage, which will be on the Nov. 7 ballot as part of a separate measure. He said he also will campaign heavily on education and the state’s crime problems.
Napolitano, who enjoys high approval ratings, will remind voters of her accomplishments: implementation of full-day kindergarten, the transition of a massive state deficit into a budget surplus and Arizona’s strong economy.
Munsil called Napolitano "out of step with Arizona."
Barry Dill, a Napolitano campaign consultant, responded in kind.
"Over the next eight weeks, we are confident that Len Munsil will be exposed for the inexperienced, out-of-the-mainstream zealot that he truly is," Dill said.
And the race begins."