Thursday, June 05, 2008

Free Passes and Primary Challenges - Interesting Races This Fall

Edit on 6/10 to correct Linda Lopez' status as a State Representative, not an incumbent State Senator...

In the following lege races, the candidates are unopposed in both the primary and the general elections (courtesy the AZ Secretary of State's website) -

Jake Flake, Republican incumbent, running for LD5 State Senate.

Carolyn Allen, Republican incumbent, running for LD8 State Senate.

Richard Miranda, Democratic incumbent, running for LD13 State Senate.

Debbie McCune Davis, Democratic incumbent, running for LD14 State Senate.

Ken Cheuvront, Democratic incumbent, running for LD15 State Senate.

Chuck Gray, Republican incumbent, running for LD19 State Senate.

Jay Tibshraeny, Republican incumbent, running for LD21 State Senate.

Paula Aboud, Democratic incumbent, running for LD28 State Senate.

Linda Lopez, Democratic State Rep, running for LD29 State Senate.

That makes for 9 out of the 30 seats, or 30% are going completely unchallenged.

Over in the House, less than 7% (4 out of 60) are getting a free pass -

Lucy Mason and Andy Tobin, Republican incumbents running for LD1 State Representative.

David Bradley and Steve Farley, Democratic incumbents running for LD28 State Representative.

A number of incumbents in both the House and Senate are termed out, and are either seeking a new office or are stepping away from public office this time around. However, almost all of the races that are completely uncontested involve incumbents; the other seats have actual contests, even the open seats.

Some of the interesting races (I'll leave the commentary on the southern AZ races to Tedski at R-Cubed - he knows the players waayyyy better than I do :) ) -

...In the LD5 race for the State Representative seats, Democratic State Rep. Jack Brown and moderate Republican State Rep. Bill Konopnicki face the presence of Russell Pearce-favorite Sylvia Tenney Allen in their race to retain their seats.

...In the LD10 State Rep race looks to be crowded - 4 Democrats (including incumbent Jackie Thrasher) are vying for the chance to face House Speaker Jim Weiers and former (and wants-to-be-again) seatmate Doug Quelland. Thrasher was a surprise winner in 2006, and she won't sneak up on anyone this time around, but the Rep registration advantage in that district is now even smaller than it was in 2006. This district is close enough to split again but could easily sweep either way.

LD10 bears close scrutiny (and lots of feet on the ground) this year.

...In the race for LD22 State Senate, Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor (R) is facing two (2!!) primary challengers - termed out State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth and Joe Bedgood. It's unusual for a reliable winger like Verschoor to face a challenge from another winger like Farnsworth, but to face two challengers? That is almost unheard-of.

Should be a bloody primary; unfortunately, no Democratic candidate filed to take advantage of a (hopefully!) weakened Republican in the general election.

...As has been covered before, the race for LD18 State Senate sees Russell Pearce, who mounted an abortive challenge to Congressman Jeff Flake, facing Flake's brother-in-law, Kevin Gibbons, in the Republican primary.

At least here, there is a Democratic candidate, Judah Nativio, poised to take advantage of the expected-to-be brutal Republican race.

...In something of a pleasant surprise, in the LD State Senate race, incumbent Republican Jack Harper is facing a primary challenge from John Zerby. Zerby is no rookie as he is a veteran of the Wickenburg City Council.

Hope it's bloody; Democrat Robert Boehlke is already in position to take advantage.

There are a few other races to watch; but it's getting late, so I'll cover those in another post.



Richard said...

In Arizona -- I should know this since I voted here in 2000 and 2006 before -- are unopposed candidates listed on the ballot? Can you vote for them?

In Florida, there would be no listing. So often voters would just find no race for Congress or the state legislature on the ballot in November with no indication why. The Secretary of State's office considered unopposed candidates "elected" as of that day in the spring when they are the only candidates to file for a position.

That is why I did my three runs as a write-in candidate for Congress - so there would, in fact, be an election, with a space to vote for the incumbent & a space to write in someone.

Does it work the same way here in Arizona?

cpmaz said...

In AZ, unopposed candidates *do* appear on the ballot, along with a space for a write-in candidate.

This applies to both the primaries and the general election.

The issue tends to come up a lot with Maricopa County offices, where most of the time, no Democrat runs for the office (County Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer, School Superintendent), and frequently only one Republican runs (usually the incumbent or the Rep party insider whose 'turn' it is for the office).