By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
Note: all Maricopa County results below should be considered in the light of the fact that somewhere near 400K ballots remain to be counted, with approximately half being mail-in ballots that were dropped off at polling places and provisional ballots that were filled out on Tuesday.
And based on reports of voter suppression/general incompetence on the part of Maricopa County
Elections (it's one of the two; I'll wait for an honest investigation to determine which it was) in Democratic and/or Latino-heavy precincts, those provisional ballots could affect a few races.
– Republican Joe Arpaio is 88K votes ahead of Democratic challenger Paul Penzone in his quest for another term in charge of the Maricopa County Slot Machine Sheriff's Office. It looks over, but the late count could make this one interesting. Arpaio spent roughly 10X more than Penzone on this race.
– Bill Montgomery won election to a "full term" as Maricopa County Attorney, defeating Libertarian challenger Michael Kielsky 74% to 26%. Kielsky may have been completely swamped, but he still outperformed my expectation that he would garner ~25% of the vote.
"Full term" is in quotes because Montgomery looks to be setting up a run at AZ Attorney General in 2014. If he does go for it, he'll have to resign from office due to AZ's "resign to run" law.
The incumbent AG, Republican Tom Horne, has issues with campaign finance violations, hiring his girlfriend to a taxpayer-funded job, and leaving the scene of an accident. If he runs for a second term, he'll be vulnerable in both the primary and the general elections.
– Republican Jerry Weiers won a term as mayor of Glendale over Democrat Manny Cruz, leading by 4K votes. While Weiers was and is expected to win, the 4K difference is close enough to make the late count interesting.
– Democrat Terry Goddard, former AZ AG and nominee for Governor, won a seat on the governing board of the Central Arizona Project. Democrat Heather Macre is in sixth in the race to fill five seats, approximately 3700 votes out of 5th place. Besides Goddard, the other apparent winners are Lisa Atkins, Pam Pickard, Guy Carpenter, and Jean McGrath. Atkins, Pickard, and Carpenter are Republicans, but they made various pre-election lists of "less bad" or "Republican but qualified" candidates; McGrath is so tea party that she doesn't *drink* the tea, she mainlines it.
– One piece of good news on the school board front: Mesa wingnut Jerry Walker lost his bid for a
seat on the Mesa Unified board. I got to see him in action when he was running wild on the governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District. His loss is a gain for Mesa and its schools, teachers, and students.
– In the US Senate race, Democrat Rich Carmona is behind Republican Jeff Flake by approximately 83K votes. As with the Maricopa County sheriff race above, this one looks over, but the late count could cause some heart palpitations in R land.
– In CD1, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is leading Republican Jonathan Paton by 6500 votes. Given that in the days leading up to Election Day, it looked as if Paton was pulling ahead, this will be a bit of an upset if it holds up.
– In CD2, Republican Martha McSally looks to have a major upset in the making over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber, leading by ~1300 votes. Stay tuned on this one.
– In CD9, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is holding a slim 2100 vote lead over Vernon Parker. This one should hold up, but this is another one to keep an eye on as the late count comes in.
– As for the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Republicans will likely completely control it. The Democrats, Marcia Busching, Sandra Kennedy, and Paul Newman, are well behind the Republicans, Susan Bitter Smith, Bob Burns, and Bob Stump, in the race.
– The AZ Senate looks as if it will turn out to have 13 Ds and 17 Rs.
Biggest (and most pleasant) surprise: In LD26 (Central and North Tempe, West Mesa), it looks as if Democrat Ed Ableser will defeat Republican Jerry Lewis. While I supported Ableser, I thought that Lewis would have enough lingering goodwill from his defeat of Russell Pearce in Pearce's 2011 recall election to win in the D-leaning district. This is one time I happy with being wrong.
Best news: Republican bully Frank Antenori is GONE, and it wasn't even that close. Democrat Dave Bradley is leading the LD10 race by more than 5K votes.
Worst news: Democratic state representative Tom Chabin lost his bid for the LD6 state senate seat to Republican state representative Chester Crandell. LD6 is a Republican-heavy district, but it was hoped that Chabin's experience and name recognition would propel him past the finish line first. It didn't.
– The AZ House will probably have 23 or 24 Ds and 37 or 36 Rs.
Right now, the race for one of the LD28 seats is too close to call.
Incumbent R Kate Brophy McGee will win one of the seats, while incumbents Eric Meyer (D) and Amanda Reeve (R) are fighting it out for the second seat, with Meyer current leading by 175 votes. This one will take a while to sort out.
A race that could switch is in the Tucson-area LD9, where Democrat Mohur Sarah Sidwa is trailing Republican Ethan Orr by ~2600 votes for the second House seat in the district. Democrat Victoria Steele looks to have won the other seat. Still, in a district race, a 2600-vote margin will be tough to overcome in the late count.
– On the ballot propositions:
In great, but not terribly surprising news, Proposition 120 went down to defeat by more than 2-1 margin. If passed, it would have declared Arizona has supreme jurisdiction over all air, water, and land in the state. Basically, it was a measure to exempt the state from all federal laws and regulations.
While I voted against it, and remain opposed to it, toward the end of the cycle I was kind of hoping it would pass.
Because federal judges, like everyone else, need comic relief occasionally. 🙂
In good, but with bad overtones, news, Proposition 121 (the "jungle", or "top two" primary question) failed by a similar margin of more than 2-1. This is good, because it was a short-sighted and poorly-written measure, but there was a lot of "dark" money spent by the Republicans who opposed the measure. If this is seen more as a victory for big money than for a defeat for bad policy, it will be back.
In just plain bad news, Proposition 204 was soundly defeated, not by the margin of the above questions, but still by a lot. 204 would have extended the 1% increase in the state sales taxes that was passed a couple of years ago and dedicated the money to funding education in Arizona. Lots of dark money spent opposing this one, too.
– In Pinal County, embattled Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu easily won re-election. Earlier this year, a scandal where Babeu was alleged to have threatened to use his influence to have an ex-boyfriend deported broke and forced him from a race for Congress. He chose to run for re-election for sheriff instead. He emerged from a crowded Republican primary field and won the general election by 16K votes, or 20 percentage points.