Whether you agreed with him or not, Senator Chester Crandell’s door was always open. A champion of state’s rights and causes near and dear to Arizona’s rural residents, Crandell never wavered in his commitment to do well by the people he represented. If there ever was a definition of compassionate conservative, it was him. He used to quip, “well, I’m just country boy, so what would I know?” Anyone familiar with him knew better. On so many public policy issues impacting rural folks, Crandell could run circles around his urban colleges.
On August 4th, Sen. Crandell told his wife, Alice, that he would be back shortly. He was breaking in a young colt – something the cattle-rancher was no stranger to. Crandell grew up in the White Mountains and knew pretty much every last cabin and cubby hole from Holbrook to Globe. He was a guy that knew how to work the land. Any rancher worth their salt will tell you that range work is not for the faint of heart. It’s difficult, treacherous and almost predictably unpredictable. For ranchers like Crandell, the work is in their blood – going back to Arizona’s earliest settlers. Crandell was the walking example of generations of Arizona pioneers. On a pleasant Monday morning, he rode off across the Despain Ranch. Crandell passed away doing what he loved.
From fellow legislators, staff, lobbyists and pretty much everyone at the Arizona Capitol, your friends and family: Chester, we will miss your bolo ties, debating policy with you, your signature firm handshake, your kindness and respect, and so much more. Godspeed, partner. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your wife, children and grandchildren.
/s/ Adam Hawkins