Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive Arizona elections in 2014

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June 12, 2014

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2014 Arizona Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

Other 2014 Election coverage
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By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

Independent candidate Tom O'Halleran in District 6 is looking to make history by becoming the first person not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties to win election to the Arizona State Legislature. O'Halleran, a former member of both the state senate and state house, switched his registration from Republican to Independent in May 2014. He cited Republicans' inability to tackle specific issues even when holding a majority as his reason for the switch.[1][2]

May 28 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for Arizona State Senate and Arizona House of Representatives. Elections in 30 Senate districts and 60 House districts will consist of a primary election on August 26, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014.

See also: 2014's state legislative elections, Arizona State Senate elections and Arizona House of Representatives elections

Majority control

Heading into the November 4 election, the Republican Party holds a majority in both state legislative chambers. Arizona's office of Governor is held by Jan Brewer (R), making the state one of 23 with a Republican state government trifecta.

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is four seats, or 13.3 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 19 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[3]

Arizona State Senate
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 13 Pending
     Republican Party 17 Pending
Total 30 30

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the House is twelve seats, or 20.0 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 24 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[4]

Arizona House of Representatives
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 24 Pending
     Republican Party 36 Pending
Total 60 60
2015
2013
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2014 State Legislative Elections

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Competitiveness

Using the official candidate lists from each state, Ballotpedia staff analyzes each district's election to look at the following circumstances:

  • Is the incumbent running for re-election?
  • If an incumbent is running, do they face a primary challenger?
  • Are both major parties represented on the general election ballot?

In Arizona's 2014 elections, those circumstances break down as follows:[5]

  • There are 28 open seats (31.1%) in the two chambers.
  • A total of 26 incumbents (41.9%) face a primary challenger.
  • 43 districts (47.8%) will feature a Democratic and Republican candidate on the general election ballot.

The following table puts the 2014 data into historical context. Overall index is calculated as the average of the three circumstances.

Comparing Arizona Competitiveness over the Years
Year  % Incs retiring  % incs rank  % Incs facing primary  % Incs primary rank  % seats with 2 MPC  % seats with 2 MPC rank Overall Index Overall Index Rank
2010 44.4% 4 50.0% 5 75.6% 16 56.7 3
2012 24.4% 19 45.8% 3 61.1% 26 43.8 12
2014 31.1% Pending 41.9% Pending 47.8% Pending 40.3 Pending

Senate

The following table details competitiveness in the Arizona State Senate.

Arizona Senate Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
23.3% 23.3% 63.3% 36.6

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 11 of the 30 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. Six Democrats and five Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances. Candidates from both major parties will face off in the general election in 19 of the 30 districts up for election.

Competitive

Mildly competitive

  • District 6: Incumbent Chester Crandell (R) will face off against Tom O'Halleran (I) in the general election. Crandell won the general election by a margin of victory of 6 percent in 2012.
  • District 10: Incumbent David Bradley (D) will face off against Mark Morrison (R) the general election. Bradley won the general election by a margin of victory of 9 percent in 2012.
  • District 18: Jane Hydrick (D) will face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election. Representative Jeff Dial will face Tom Morrissey in the primary. Incumbent John McComish is not running. He won the general election by a margin of victory of 6 percent in 2012.

Primary challenges

A total of 7 incumbents will face primary competition on August 26. Seven incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 16 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The state senators facing primary competition are:

Retiring incumbents

Seven incumbent senators, three Democrats and four Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 23 (76.6%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Al Melvin Ends.png Republican Senate District 11
John McComish Ends.png Republican Senate District 18
Anna Tovar Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 19
Rick Murphy Ends.png Republican Senate District 21
Michele Reagan Ends.png Republican Senate District 23
Leah Landrum Taylor Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 27
Steve Gallardo Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 29

House

The following table details competitiveness in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Arizona House Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
35.0% 31.7% 40.0% 35.6

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 36 (60.0%) of the 60 seats up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 16 Democrats and 20 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 24 (40.0%) of the 60 seats up for election.

Primary challenges

A total of 19 incumbents will face primary competition on August 26. Twenty-one incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 20 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The state representatives facing primary competition are:

Retiring incumbents

Twenty-one incumbent representatives, eight Democrats and thirteen Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 39 (65.0%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Andy Tobin Ends.png Republican House District 1
Juan Carlos Escamilla Electiondot.png Democratic House District 4
Doris Goodale Ends.png Republican House District 5
Brenda Barton Ends.png Republican House District 6
Albert Hale Electiondot.png Democratic House District 7
Jamescita Peshlakai Electiondot.png Democratic House District 7
Adam Kwasman Ends.png Republican House District 11
Steve Smith Ends.png Republican House District 11
Kelly Townsend Ends.png Republican House District 16
Tom Forese Ends.png Republican House District 17
Jeff Dial Ends.png Republican House District 18
Lupe Contreras Electiondot.png Democratic House District 19
Carl Seel Electiondot.png Democratic House District 20
Debbie Lesko Ends.png Republican House District 21
John Kavanagh Ends.png Republican House District 23
Chad Campbell Electiondot.png Democratic House District 24
Justin Olson Ends.png Republican House District 25
Justin Pierce Ends.png Republican House District 25
Catherine H. Miranda Electiondot.png Democratic House District 27
Lydia Hernandez Electiondot.png Democratic House District 29
Martin Quezada Ends.png Republican House District 29

See also

External links

References