Arizona State Senate District 21

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Arizona Senate District 21
Current incumbentDebbie Lesko Republican Party
Ethnicity4.8% Black, 18.4% Hispanic 2% Native American
Voting age71.9% age 18 and over
Next electionNovember 8, 2016
Arizona’s twenty-first state senate district is represented by Republican Senator Debbie Lesko.

As of the 2010 census, a total of 274,260 civilians reside within Arizona's twenty-first state senate district.[1] Arizona state representatives represent an average of 213,067 residents.[2] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 171,021 residents.[3]

About the office

Members serve two-year terms with term limits, limiting Senators to four terms (a total of eight years).[4] Arizona legislators assume office on the first day of the session after they are elected. Each regular session begins on the second Monday in January.


Article 4, Part 2, Section 2 of the Arizona Constitution states: No person shall be a member of the Legislature unless he shall be a citizen of the United States at the time of his election, nor unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and shall have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election.


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

Arizona state senators are paid $24,000/year. They are also paid a per diem of $35/day for the first 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and $10/day thereafter. Senators who live outside of Maricopa County are given an additional $25/day for the 1st 120 days of regular session and for special sessions and an additional $10/day thereafter.[5]

Term limits

See also: State legislatures with term limits

The Arizona legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Arizona Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Arizona senators are subject to term limits of no more than four two-year terms, or a total of eight years.

The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2000.[4]


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the senate, the political party committee or the Board of County Supervisors must select a replacement. The political party committee is responsible for appointing a replacement only if the Senate district has thirty or more elected precinct committeemen.[6]

The secretary of state is required to contact the state party chairperson to give notice of the vacancy. The state chairperson must give notice of an election to fill the seat within three days of receiving notice.[6]

Before an election takes place, the state chairperson must submit a list of three recommended candidates to fill the seat. The election involves all the precinct committeemen who represent the Senate district. If the Legislature is out of session, the election must be held within twenty-one days after the vacancy happened. If the Legislature is in session, the election must be held within five days after the vacancy happened.[6]

The Board of County Supervisors fills vacancies in Senate districts that have less than thirty elected precinct committeemen. Also, the Board of Supervisors must select a replacement if the party committee fails to select a replacement within the specified periods. This is only for districts with thirty or more elected committeemen.

The county of residence from where the person last held the seat is responsible for making the selection. The county that is responsible for filling the vacancy must form a citizens panel. The citizens panel is charged with recommending to the Board of Supervisors three candidates to fill the vacant seat. The panel must recommend persons from the political party that last held the seat. The full county board must select a replacement within five days of receiving the list of recommended candidates.[7]

The person selected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.[7]



See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 28, 2014. Carolyn Vasko was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Representative Debbie Lesko was unopposed in the Republican primary. Lesko defeated Vasko in the general election.[8][9][10]

Arizona State Senate District 21, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDebbie Lesko 63.2% 32,119
     Democratic Carolyn Vasko 36.8% 18,687
Total Votes 50,806


See also: Arizona State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Arizona State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 28, 2012, and a general election on November 6, 2012. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 30, 2012. Incumbent Rick Murphy defeated Michael Tarrats (D) in the general election. Both candidates ran unopposed in the August 28 primary elections.[11][12]

Arizona State Senate, District 21, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRick Murphy Incumbent 59.6% 44,369
     Democratic Michael Tarrats 40.4% 30,087
Total Votes 74,456

Campaign contributions

Since 2000, candidates for Arizona State Senate District 21 have raised a total of $341,415. Candidates who raised money in contributions earned $34,142 on average. All figures come from Follow the Money.

Campaign contributions, Arizona State Senate District 21
Year Amount Candidates Average
2012 $29,543 2 $14,772
2010 $29,299 1 $29,299
2008 $69,029 1 $69,029
2006 $40,778 1 $40,778
2004 $28,425 1 $28,425
2002 $31,716 2 $15,858
2000 $112,625 2 $56,313
Total $341,415 10 $34,142

See also

External links