Category Archives: Arizona Republic

Ex-Governor Pursues New Ventures

Marking the 10th anniversary since leaving office, Fife Symington recently gave an interview with the Arizona Republic that discusses his activities over the past several years. Here’s an excerpt:

Symington never went far from the Esplanade, often using the Ritz dining room for meetings with visiting dignitaries, friends and business associates. Franco’s opened on the ground floor of the growing Esplanade in 2003, with Symington as pastry chef. Attired in a white chef’s smock, he knocked out tiramisus and his signature chocolate Governor’s Cake in the location where he had headquartered his real-estate empire years earlier.

Today, Symington maintains offices there with his four partners in the Symington Private Equity Group. Ventures include the Symington Group, a political consultancy that consists of himself and partner Camilla Strongin; various early forays into solar projects, a technology he finds promising despite initial reservations; and venture-capital investments. He has what he calls a “tag-along interest” in the Ruth’s Chris and Macaroni Grill franchises in Hawaii, and a hospital payment program operates out of a small room in the suite of Symington offices.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Symington Loses Vote in Precinct Hostile to McCain

In his first-ever political defeat, former Gov. Fife Symington lost his bid Tuesday to become Republican chairman of McCain’s home legislative district in north-central Phoenix. Symington was not considered conservative enough to defeat District 11 incumbent Rob Haney, a retired IBM manager who took over the organization two years ago and has been outspoken in his criticism of McCain.

“This factionalism has hurt GOP candidates, and it cost (Hesselbrock) his seat,” Symington said. “A district chair should bring Republicans together, not make war on one of your important national officeholders and a potential president. This does not bode well for the district in terms of a Republican future, in my view.”

Symington said District 11 Republicans should be trying to come together to reclaim ground lost in the last election, not picking fights over ideological differences.

“The vitriol is very high against McCain, which is just nuts,” Symington said. “The general public understands, or needs to understand, that just because that kind of noise is coming out of District 11, it doesn’t indicate a lack of support for McCain. That viewpoint is prevailing in that small bubble, but McCain is enormously popular.”

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