2012 elections review: Results not yet final in Arizona legislative primaries

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August 29, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continued yesterday with elections in Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

Here's what happened in Arizona.[1]

Contested Primaries in Arizona -- August 28, 2012
U.S. House
(9 seats)
State Legislature
(90 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 7 (77.78%) 15 (16.7%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 8 (88.89%) 13 (14.4%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Arizona, 2012

Five candidates competed in primaries for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat yesterday - 4 Republicans and 1 Democrat. The seat is open following the retirement of incumbent Jon Kyl. In the Republican primary, U.S. Representative Jeff Flake, defeated Wil Cardon, Bryan Hackbarth, and Clair Van Steenwyk for the nomination. He will now face the lone Democratic candidate, Richard Carmona, in the general election. Sheila Bilyeu, a Libertarian, and Ian Gilyeat, an Independent, will also compete in the general election.

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Arizona, 2012

Arizona has nine congressional seats on the ballot in 2012. A total of 54 candidates filed to run, made up of 16 Democratic challenger, 23 Republican challengers, 7 incumbent, and 8 third-party candidates. A total of 415 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 54.94% of possible primaries have been contested. Arizona's contested figure of 83.33% (15 out of 18 possible party primaries) is significantly more competitive than the national average.

In District 1, Ann Kirkpatrick defeated Wenona Benally Baldenegro for the Democratic nomination while Jonathan Paton defeated Patrick Gatti, Gaither Martin, and Douglas Wade in the Republican primary. The seat is open following redistricting.

In the 2nd District, incumbent Ron Barber, who was elected to replace Gabrielle Giffords in the June special election, fended off a challenge from Matt Heinz and write-in candidate Charlie Manolakis in the Democratic primary. Martha McSally defeated Mark Koskiniemi for the GOP nomination.

In District 3, Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva easily overcame the challenge of Amanda Aguirre and J. Manuel Arreguin. Meanwhile, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer defeated Jaime Vasquez for the Republican nomination.

In District 4, Republican incumbent Paul Gosar defeated challengers Ron Gould and Rick Murphy in the Republican primary. Results are not yet final for the Democratic primary. Preliminary results show Johnnie Robinson leading Mikel Weisser with 8,754 votes to Weisser's 8,731.[2]

District 5 is open following redistricting. Matt Salmon defeated Kirk Adams in the Republican primary. He will face Democrat Morgan Spencer in the November general election.

In the 6th District, incumbent David Schweikert defeated fellow incumbent Benjamin Quayle in one of the most heated Republican primaries of the year. Meanwhile, Matt Jette defeated John Williamson for the Democratic nomination.

In District 7, Democratic incumbent Ed Pastor defeated challenger Rebecca DeWitt in the primary election.

In the 8th District, incumbent Trent Franks survived a challenge from Tony Passalacqua and write-in candidate Helmuth Hack in the Republican primary. He will face Democrat Gene Scharer in the general election.

Ten candidates competed in Arizona's newly created 9th Congressional District. Kyrsten Sinema defeated Andrei Cherny and David Schapira in the Democratic primary. On the other side of the aisle, Vernon Parker was victorious, defeating Lisa Borowsky, Leah Campos Schandlbauer, Travis Grantham, Wendy Rogers, Martin Sepulveda, and Jeff Thompson for the Republican nomination.

Members of the U.S. House from Arizona -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 3 5
     Republican Party 5 4
Total 8 9

State legislature

See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2012 and Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2012

There are 90 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 30 Senate seats and 60 House seats.

There were 28 contested primaries in the state legislative races out of a possible 180 contested major party primaries, including 8 in the state senate elections (counting one write-in campaign) and 20 in the state house elections. Each district elects two representatives to the Arizona House of Representatives, and thus only districts that have more than two contestants from the same party were considered contested districts.


There were eight contested primaries in the State Senate races, including one write-in campaign.

Republican Party District 5: House District 3 Representative Nancy McLain (R), who has been in office since 2005, was defeated in her bid for a senate seat by Kelli Ward. Ward also defeated Sam Scarmardo. Incumbent Republican Sylvia Allen is not running for re-election.
Republican Party District 16: District 19 incumbent Rich Crandall (R), who first assumed office in 2011, holds only a narrow lead in initial counting against challenger and House District 23 Representative John Fillmore, who first assumed office in the House in 2011.
Democratic Party District 24: Former Senator Ken Cheuvront (D), who was in office from 2003 to 2011, was defeated in his bid to return to the senate by House incumbent Katie Hobbs, who first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party District 25: Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce (R), who made a bid to return to the Arizona State Senate after he lost a recall election in 2011, was defeated by entrepreneur Bob Worsley.

Arizona State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 9 13
     Republican Party 21 17
Total 30 30


There were 20 contested primaries in the State House of Representatives races.

Republican Party District 1: Incumbents Andy Tobin (R), who first assumed office in 2007, and Karen Fann (R), who first assumed office in 2011, defeated current State Senator Lori Klein (R), who has represented Senate District 6 since 2011 and made a bid for this House seat to avoid a primary fight with Senate President Steve Pierce (R).
Republican Party District 13: District 12 incumbent Steve Montenegro (R), who first assumed office in 2009, managed a victory. However, fellow incumbent from District 24 Russ Jones (R) was behind challenger Darin Mitchell after ballots were counted on election night.
Republican Party District 15: District 7 incumbent Heather Carter (R) was handily re-elected, but fellow District 7 incumbent David Smith (R) trailed challenger John Allen in the first round of counting. Another challenger, James Bearup, was in fourth place.
Democratic Party District 30: District 14 incumbent Debbie McCune-Davis (D), who first assumed office in 2011, and Jonathon Larkin defeated Mike Snitz in the Democratic primary, and now do not face any Republican opposition for the seat.

A few additional House races remained unresolved, including:

Democratic Party District 4: Juan Carlos Escamilla, Charlene Fernandez, and Lisa Otondo are in a close three-way race.
Democratic Party District 7: District 2 incumbent Albert Hale, who first assumed office in 2011, won re-election in this district, but it is still unclear whether Jamescita Peshlakai or Phil Stago will be joining him.
Republican Party District 16: Kelly Townsend advanced to the general election, but Doug Coleman and Jeff Davis are in a battle for second, with Judy Novalsky trailing.
Democratic Party District 19: Mark Cardenas has likely been elected to the House, but Lupe Contreras and Lorenzo Sierra could still both earn the second seat. Bryan Kilgore is behind, in fourth place.
Republican Party District 26: Mary Lou Taylor won a spot on the general election ballot, but the battle for the second Republican slot still shows Jason Youn within possible striking distance of Raymond Speakman, who won nearly as many votes as Taylor. Buckley Merrill trails the pack.

Arizona House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 19 24
     Republican Party 40 36
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 60 60

See also

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