Four Arizona Lawmakers Likely Bounced From Legislature in Primary Election

Four Arizona lawmakers appear to have lost their primary races.

Three Democrats and one Republican are losing races in which all or nearly all of the voting precincts have reported their results, and each lawmaker facing a loss is doing so under different circumstances.

See also: -New Times' Complete Election Coverage

Republican State Representative Carl Seel is behind in his re-election bid in Legislative District 20 in the West Valley.

With all precincts reporting in that district, Seel's seat mate Paul Boyer easily survived the five-way race for the two seats in the state House of Representatives, but Seel is behind by more than 1,000 votes to Anthony Kern, who hasn't held political office but was selected as a precinct committeeman and state committeeman out of the legislative district.

Seel's part of what Democratic lawmakers have mockingly called the "Black Helicopter Caucus," a label they've given to lawmakers who take up issues related to conspiracy theories. Seel was a noted advocate of trying to pass "birther"-type legislation.

Democratic Representative Martin Quezada also looks as though he could be on his way out. Quezada and fellow Democratic Representative Lydia Hernández both ran for the Senate seat in LD 29, which was vacated by Senator Steve Gallardo. (Gallardo initially set out to run for Congress in Congressional District 7 but instead went for an open spot on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and won his primary race last night.)

All precincts have reported in the race between Quezada and Hernández, and according to the unofficial results, Hernández is ahead by 36 votes.

Democratic Representative Jamescita Peshlakai clearly is losing in her bid to unseat the Democratic Senator in LD 7, Carlyle Begay. Peshlakai, calling Begay too conservative, made the run at his senate seat and came up well short. With 123 of 124 precincts reporting in the rural, northeastern Arizona district, Peshlakai actually is in third place in the race for the one seat, behind Eric Descheenie, while Begay alone scored more than 43 percent of the votes.

The other losing legislators is Democratic Representative Norma Muñoz, who hardly saw any time at the Capitol. Muñoz was appointed to the Legislature by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in March, after then-Representative Ruben Gallego stepped down to run for Congress. (Gallego won his primary Tuesday night against Mary Rose Wilcox.)

With all 35 precincts reporting in LD 27, Muñoz is in third place in the four-way race for the two seats in the House of Representatives. Former state lawmaker Rebecca Rios is leading that race, followed by Reginald Bolding, a politically connected ASU instructor. According to the unofficial results, Muñoz trails Bolding by 235 votes.

Meanwhile, a handful of Republican lawmakers survived or are in position to survive primary challenges.

That includes Representative Steve Smith in his bid for the Senate seat in LD 11; Senator Don Shooter in his bid to retain his Senate seat in LD 13; Representative John Kavanagh in his bid to win the Senate seat in LD 23; Senator David Farnsworth in his attempt to retain his seat in LD 16, Representative Jeff Dial in his attempt to beat former state GOP chair Tom Morrissey for a vacant Senate seat in LD 18; Representative Bob Robson to keep his seat in LD 18; Senator Bob Worsley to keep his seat in LD 25; and Representative John Allen clings to a nine-vote lead in his re-election bid, as former lawmaker David Burnell Smith attempts a comeback.

UPDATE August 29: With late votes still being counted, David Burnell Smith has taken the lead over Representative John Allen.

UPDATE September 2: More votes are still being counted. Allen now leads Burnell Smith, and Quezada leads Hernández.

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