Sentiment towards APS could affect various political races

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Tmes

The outcome of several key races on next week’s ballot could turn on how Arizonans feel about their utility company — especially if it’s Arizona Public Service.

Officially, the only race in which APS is directly involved, at least to date, is its high-dollar effort to quash an initiative that would force it and other utilities to generate half of their power from renewable sources by 2030. At last count the utility had spent more than $30 million against Proposition 127.

Recent polls suggest all that spending may be paying off, even with Prop 127 proponents pretty much matching the utility dollar for dollar.

But the fact that Arizonans aren’t willing to back a proposal by a California billionaire to amend the state constitution does not mean people are happy with APS. And that has implications in both the race for Arizona Corporation Commission and the attorney general.

Political consultant Chuck Coughlin of HighGround said he saw that first hand recently at a meeting of East Valley women who are active in politics when the subject of Proposition 127 came up.

“The vitriol about APS in the room was more than palpable,” he said.

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