Top 10 Arizona Primary Races to Watch
Today is Arizona's primary election, and there are plenty of races to keep an eye on.
Below, check out our picks of the top 10 races to watch as the results roll in tonight:
10.) Congressional District 9: Republican
This race between retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers and former ASU and NFL quarterback Andrew Walter will decide who's taking on Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema in November.
9.) Legislative District 7 Senator: Democrat
There aren't very many exciting races among Democrats, but this is one of them, for a gigantic rural legislative district that covers most of Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties, plus parts of Mohave, Gila, Graham, and Pinal counties. The three candidates for the sole Senate seat in the district (where no Republican is bothering to run) are each politically connected members of the Navajo Nation. Jamescita Peshlakai is currently a Democratic state representative from the district, who's challenging the district's current senator, Carlyle Begay. (Begay has been accused of actually being a Republican.) Don't write off the third candidate in the race, either: Eric Descheenie is the former chief of staff for the Navajo Nation Council, and later became the director of tribal government relations for the Navajo County Board of Supervisors.
8.) Legislative District 18 Senator: Republican
Morrissey for AZ Senate
With Senate Majority Leader John McComish retiring from the Legislature, Republican Representative Jeff Dial became an obvious choice to run for the Senate seat in this Ahwatukee-area district.
However, Dial's getting a primary challenger from the right, in the form of former state Republican Party chairman Tom Morrissey. Like other Republican state lawmakers who are facing a challenge tonight, Dial's support of Medicaid expansion is a main selling point of Morrissey's campaign. Also, get a load of Morrissey's endorsements on the campaign trail, including disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, wannabe cop Steven Seagal, recalled ex-Senate President Russell Pearce, and Ted Nugent, among others.
7.) Legislative District 25 Senator: Republican
Russell Pearce (left) and Ralph Heap.
Recall that the district's current Senator, Republican Bob Worsley, was elected in 2012 by defeating former Senate President Russell Pearce. Worsley spoiled Pearce's comeback bid, a year after a recall election booted Pearce from the Legislature.
Now, Worsley again has to face a primary challenger in the East Valley district, and this time it's Ralph Heap. Worsley's one of several Republican lawmakers being challenged from the right, in opposition of those Republicans who successfully supported Governor Jan Brewer's Medicaid-expansion plan. Heap, an apparent pal of Pearce's, has his own problem on the Medcaid front -- our colleague Stephen Lemons reported that Heap, a doctor, took Medicaid cash himself.
6.) Secretary of State: Republican
Secretary of State certainly isn't the sexiest political office, but it does come with one perk: being next in line to become governor, which is how Governor Jan Brewer took office. Democrat Terry Goddard doesn't have a primary challenger, which leaves the excitement on the Republican side, where former U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon faces off against two lawmakers, Senator Michele Reagan and Representative Justin Pierce.
5.) Congressional District 1: Republican
Each of the three Republican candidates in this race has done something pretty goofy this election, whether it was printing a giant horse penis on a campaign mailer, or confusing a bus of YMCA campers with migrant children, or claimed children crossing the nation's southern border could be bringing Ebola with them.
Somebody has to win the primary battle between House Speaker Andy Tobin, Representative Adam Kwasman, and businessman Gary Kiehne, and that person gets to face Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in November, for a chance to represent this northern- and eastern-Arizona district.
4.) Superintendent of Public Instruction: Republican
Are current Superintendent John Huppenthal's bizarre anonymous blog comments enough for Republican voters to reject him in favor of someone new? Huppenthal's facing a primary challenge from Diane Douglas, who's also challenging Huppenthal on his seemingly ever-changing support of Common Core standards.
3.) Attorney General: Republican
Attorney General Tom Horne has found himself involved in so many scandals since he took office that it's honestly difficult to keep track of them all. Despite this, the outcome of this race and/or the general election will likely be tight. Mark Brnovich, the former director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, is challenging Horne in the primary.
2.) Congressional District 7: Democrat
Ruben Gallego (left) and Mary Rose Wilcox.
This primary is practically the general election for this Democrat-heavy Phoenix congressional district, where several Democrats are vying to replacing retiring Congressman Ed Pastor.
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and state Representative Ruben Gallego certainly seem like the front-runners, but voters can also choose from Randy Camacho and Reverend Jarrett Maupin.
1.) Governor: Republican
This is the grand-daddy of 'em all, with six candidates trying to win the Republican nomination for governor. There's state Treasurer Doug Ducey, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former California Congressman Frank Riggs, and disbarred and disgraced former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
The nominee will face off against Democrat Fred DuVal in the general election. DuVal's not facing a primary challenge tonight.
Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.
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