Some primary surprises (and some “not surprises”) on Tuesday…


By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

Note: All results are tentative and subject to change as late-arriving mail in ballots and provisional ballots are counted.  Most races seem settled, though there are a few that may flip.  And at least a couple seem headed for recounts…

Note2: Results from Maricopa County-specific races are from the website of the Maricopa County Recorder; results from races that cover other counties or the entire state are from the website of the Arizona Secretary of State.

Note3: The geographic descriptions used are for reference only, to give a general idea of where a district is located.  They are not, nor are they meant to be, definitive descriptions of the geographic area covered by a particular district.

I actually think that the a few of the primary results will serve to help Democrats make some gains, but this is turning out to be a weird electoral cycle.

In other words, no predictions.

On the Democratic side…

…In CD2 (Tucson and Southern AZ), former legislator Matt Heinz defeated former legislator Victoria Steele.

…In LD7 (Northern AZ including the Navajo nation), current state legislator Jamescita Peshlakai defeated Steven Begay for the nomination for state senate.

…In LD26 (Tempe and West Mesa), a contentious primary resulted in Juan Mendez (Senate), Athena Salman and Isela Blanc (House) defeating David Lucier (Senate), Celeste Plumlee (incumbent), and Michael Martinez (House).  While the Democratic nominees are likely to win in November, it remains to be seen if some feathers (on both sides) are permanently ruffled.

…In LD27 (South Phoenix and SW Maricopa County), incumbent state senator Catherine Miranda defeated her stepdaughter Maritza Miranda Saenz for the Democratic nomination for state senate.  Catherine Miranda is so well-respected and personally popular that people are already lining up to take her on in 2018.

…In LD29 (West Phoenix), State Rep. Martin Quezada defeated incumbent State Sen. Lydia Hernandez, who is known as a Republican in everything but name.

…In LD30 (West Central Phoenix and Glendale), the three way race for two nominations for the House is still too close to call, with newcomer Ray Martinez in second place, 144 votes ahead of incumbent Jonathan Larkin.

…In LD9 (North and NW Tucson) friend and fellow blogger Pamela Powers Hannley won the second Democratic nomination for a House seat.

Congrats Pam!

On the Republican side…

…In the primary race for Maricopa County Recorder,  beleaguered incumbent Helen Purcell is ahead of apparent 9/11 Truther (based on some of his tweets) Aaron Flannery by 185 votes.  This one is close enough that a recount may be needed here, which would involve another beleaguered incumbent, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

…In the primary race for the Republican nomination in CD5, state legislator (and renowned would-be tinhorn dictator) Andy Biggs is leading perennial candidate Christine Jones by 9 votes.  Regardless of how this one turns out, expect a recount here.  No matter how enthusiastically Biggs declares victory.

…In a bit of a surprise to many observers, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu won the Republican nomination in CD1.  He’s a “colorful” character, so much so that the DCCC is already running TV spots in the race.

…In the primary race for Maricopa County School Superintendent, incumbent Don Covey came in a surprising third in a three way race.  And it wasn’t even a close third…

Democrat Michelle Robertson awaits in November.

…In the primary race for the nomination for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace (far northern Phoenix), incumbent Clancy Jayne came in third in the three way race.  He’s not a liberal or even a moderate by any definition, but even Republicans consider him to be an “unpleasant person”.

…In the primary race for the nomination for Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio lapped the field, setting up a November battle with his 2012 challenger, Democrat Paul Penzone.

…In the primary race for the nomination for Moon Valley JP (north central Phoenix), political newcomer Andrew Hettinger more than doubled up former state legislator Carl Seel.  Seel is also regarded by many as an “unpleasant person”.

…In the primary race for state senate in LD5 (Western and NW AZ), state legislator Sonny Borrelli (R-anger control issues) defeated former state senator Ron Gould (R – The South Will Rise Again!).  This was a race where most non-crossburning observers hoped both candidates would find a way to lose.

…In the primary race for state senate in LD18 (Ahwatukee, south Tempe, west Chandler), in an upset, Frank Schmuck defeated incumbent Jeff Dial.  Wiseass bloggers and headline writers all over the state just smiled a little wider.

Democrat Sean Bowie awaits in November.

…In the primary race for state house in LD1, dark money darling David Stringer is ahead of Chip Davis for the second nomination there.

However, as interesting as some of the races here may have been, none brought joy to the internet as did the defeat of Angela Corey, the Florida prosecutor who got George Zimmerman a complete walk for murdering a black man but was able to get 20 years for Marissa Alexander for NOT killing one.

She is one elected official that no one is going to miss when she’s gone.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. Is the Cesar Chavez who has made it onto the general election ballot in LD 29 the same one whose original name was Scott Fistler? If I recall that one was a stealth Republican anti-tax guy who ran as a Democratic candidate for CD 7 in 2014 and got tossed for having falsified signatures. If he is a different person please provide some info. If he is that same stealth candidate how did the state party fail to convey that information to the voters and what do they plan to do about that seat for the general and the future?

    • I think it’s a different “Cesar Chavez”, but I’m not absolutely sure.

      Either way, he’s part of the Lydia Hernandez camp and is suspect.

      Digging some more (yes, it’s a long weekend, and I’m a political geek 🙂 ), but I cannot promise that I will find anything…

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