Sunday, June 10, 2012

Maricopa County Elections 2012: Already all but over

Last week, I put up a post on the nine Congressional and 30 legislative races; today, the focus is on Maricopa County.

Though I don't know why I bother - all but a couple of the races are already over (one candidate only) or will be decided in the primary (uncompetitive districts).

The list of Maricopa County primary candidates, pending withdrawals/challenges, is here.
Maricopa County voter registration numbers, by supervisorial district, are here.
Maricopa County voter registration numbers, by justice of the peace/constable precinct. are here.

County-wide voter reg numbers -

Republican Democrats Independents

Maricopa County 705576 516519 637721

The races for all but one county-wide office are effectively over -

County Assessor Keith Russell, County Recorder Helen Purcell,  County School Superintendent Don Covey, and County Treasurer Charles Hoskins, Republicans one and all, are completely unopposed - no challengers in either the primary or the general election.  In addition, County Attorney Bill Montgomery (R) is facing only a token opponent, Libertarian Michael Kielsky, in the general election.  No Democrat filed for the race, so Kielsky will get 20 - 25% of the vote, but that's it.

One race, the race for County Sheriff, promises to be far more interesting than all of the other races combined -

Democrats Paul Penzone and John Rowan and Independent (and former Republican) Mike Stauffer have all filed signatures to take on embattled Republican incumbent Joe Arpaio.  It will be an uphill battle (look at the county-wide numbers, above), but with the bright spotlight of federal investigations into his conduct in office, that hill isn't as steep as in years past.

Supervisor races

Voter reg numbers -

Republican Democrats Independents

Supervisor District 1 158594 110194 146475
Supervisor District 2 195257 98816 148096
Supervisor District 3 141073 98337 113625
Supervisor District 4 167544 107728 139047
Supervisor District 5 43108 101444 90478

In SD1, the race is over - only Republican Denny Barney filed to run for the seat currently held by Fulton Brock, who isn't running for reelection because of a family-related scandal (wife and daughter boinking an underaged student/family friend.  Note: "boinking" is a euphemism.  You can figure out what it means :) ).

In SD2, while there will be a general election race (Democrat David Ortega of Scottsdale filed for a run), the voter registration disparity favoring the Republicans means that the R primary between Steve Chucri and Lester Pearce will produce the likely winner.  The best shot for Ortega will be if Lester Pearce wins the primary - he's so extreme that the "anybody but Pearce" vote will be huge.  In addition, Ortega is a known quantity among Scottsdale voters as a former member of the Scottsdale City Council.  Scottsdale Republicans are very conservative, but they are Chamber of Commerce Republicans, not burner Republicans (you know, witches, books, crosses, or whatever else is handy).  A pro-business Democrat will have a chance there, especially against someone from the Pearce camp.

In SD3, Democrat Lilia Alvarez will take on Republican incumbent Andy Kunasek.  Another uphill battle for the Democratic candidate, but she's smart and energetic and the hill isn't quite so steep as in SD2.  Not guaranteeing an upset here, but if there is going to be one in the MCBOS races, it will be here.

In SD4, incumbent Republican Max Wilson is facing two challengers in the primary - former legislator Jean McGrath and Richard Hensley, a real estate agent.  No Democrat filed to run in this district.

In SD5, incumbent Democrat Mary Rose Wilcox was slated to face an Independent in November, but her opponent, Manuel Burboa, withdrew from the race.

Justice of the Peace/Constable races

These are going to be both more difficult and easier to write about -

More difficult, because I know next to nothing about most of the districts and the players in them.

Easier, because there are so few actual races.

The wide variation in number of voters in the various Justice Precincts is no mistake.  The districts' lines are designed to approximately equalize workloads, not numbers of residents or geographical areas.

Also, while there are 25, soon-to-be 26, Justice Precincts, only 10 are up for election this year.  The remainder, plus one of this year's precincts that is only electing someone to serve out the remainder of a term, will be up for election in 2014.

Voter reg numbers:

Justice Precincts Republican Democrats Independents

White Tank 30563 20546 28928
Encanto 9748 15144 11139
San Marcos 49719 34308 46714
East Mesa 43907 22388 32221
Downtown 2831 8855 7939
Arcadia Biltmore 19925 20547 20022
Ironwood 1913 1411 1825
Manistee 24401 27326 28843
Maryvale 4561 12413 10852
North Mesa 25149 14228 19897
North Valley 45544 25207 34554
Dreamy Draw 30038 21272 23817
Moon Valley 17569 13927 15043
Arrowhead 55478 29830 37145
McDowell Mountain 77527 37277 54162
Highland 55282 27517 40658
South Mountain 9244 27652 21899
University Lakes 14617 14314 16727
Kyrene 28250 26478 29308
Agua Fria 5163 12027 12261
West Mesa 7300 8100 11095
West McDowell 3211 8893 7748
Hassayampa 44567 26420 37634
San Tan 44104 21002 35365
Desert Ridge 41807 19356 30903
Country Meadows 12758 20081 21022

Arcadia Biltmore -

- JP - Incumbent Democrat Steven Sarkis is facing Republican challenger Michael Corey Chan.  Sarkis is highly respected; Chan ran as a Democrat in the San Marcos (Chandler) Justice Precinct in 2010 and is rumored as being about to be bumped off of the ballot.  Even if Chan survives any challenges to his petitions, Sarkis should defeat him.

- Constable - Incumbent Democrat Carolyn Lane is facing Republican challenger Roger Pongratz.  Lane is respected for her professionalism (something that cannot be said about many of her constable colleagues), but I don't know much about Pongratz other than that he ran for JP in 2008 and lost.

Country Meadows -

- JP - A new Justice Precinct, there aren't any incumbents here yet.  Democrats Anna Huberman and Joel Grajeda and Republican David Iwanski are running here.

- Constable - Only Democrat Kenneth Sumner filed to run for this office.

Desert Ridge -

- JP - No Democrat filed here, so the race will be decided in a three-way Republican primary between incumbent Clancy Jayne, Bill Ponath, and Jeff Schapira. 

- Constable - Republican Cory Hazlett is completely unopposed.  Given that he submitted only 22 signatures more than the required minimum, somebody is probably kicking himself right now.  A razor-thin cushion like that is just begging for a challenge, but what would be the point?

Downtown -

- JP - (2 year term) Democrats Benny Arce and Jimmie Hernandez are running; no Republicans filed here.

Dreamy Draw -

- JP - Republican Frank Conti is completely unopposed.

- Constable - Republican Doug Middleton is completely unopposed.

Highland -

- JP - One of the most interesting races.  No Democrats filed here, but five Republicans - incumbent Dan Dodge, James Estrada, Steve Urie, William Jefferson, and Jeff Smith.  Don't know much about them except for Urie, who is currently a state legislator and owner of a property management company that operates apartments and other rental properties.  "Operate" includes things like "evicting".  Guess what kind of cases a JP hears?  Can you say "conflict of interest"?  Hope so, 'cuz it seems obvious that Urie can't.

- Constable - Republican Phil Freestone is completely unopposed.

Maryvale -

- JP - Right now, there is a Democratic primary (candidates Federico Fuentes and Andy Gastelum) with the winner scheduled to go on to face two Independents in the general election (Francisco Meneses Jr. and Yesenia Perez).  However, while Gastelum submitted nearly 1200 signatures, giving him a large cushion over the mimimum required (241),  the others submitted totals that barely exceeded that minimum.  One candidate submitted only seven more than the minimum.  Don't be surprised if one or more candidates are knocked off the ballot.  No Republicans filed here.

- Constable - Only Democrats Frank Canez and Rafael Ung filed for this race.

Moon Valley -

- JP - Only Republicans Rebecca MacBeth and Russ Willis filed here.

- Constable - Only Republican J. Richard Coplan filed here.

North Mesa -

- JP - Another interesting race.  This used to be Lester Pearce's seat until he resigned to run for the Board of Supervisors.  One interested candidate, Kyle Jones, was appointed to fill the vacancy.  However, he did *not* file to run for a full term.  Republicans Cecil Ash, Jess Romney, and David Lane filed to run here, as did Democratic attorney Jacie Cotterell.  Ash is the most well-known - he is a member of the current state legislature.

- Constable - Republicans Edward Homan and Ed Malles filed here.  No Democrats filed.

San Tan -

- JP - Republicans Sam Goodman and Larry Campbell filed here; no Democrats.

- Constable - Independent Darrel Luth and Republicans Steve Allen and Ted Titchenal are running here.

South Mountain -

- Constable - (2 year term) Democrats Lincoln Brevard Jr., Jimmie Munoz, and Tommy Sanchez filed here.

There are 31 Maricopa County races on the primary ballot; perhaps three will have somewhat competitive general election races, and a few more could see "miracle" upsets there, but 80% of the races in Maricopa County will be over once the primary results come in.

I know that the Republicans and the few Democrats in safe districts will scream, but it is time for the voters to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission for county races.  Allowing the county supervisors to pick their voters, instead of the voters picking their county supervisors has contributed, in large part, to Maricopa County having the most embarrassing county government in the country.

The county health board, community college district governing board, board of directors for the Central Arizona Project, and local school boards are non-partisan (in theory, anyway) and go directly to the November ballot.  Their sigs aren't due for a few more weeks.


Phoenix Justice said...

I still have a major issue that the Board of Supervisors is made up of one supervisor for every 800,000 people in Maricopa County. It is one reason why I think the county's government needs some serious reform.

cpmaz said...

Interesting ideas PJ. I don't see the BOS allowing their power to be diluted without a vicious fight, but when the average SD has more people than an average Congressional district, a change is called for.

Anonymous said...

"Sarkis is highly respected" are you kidding me? He is the 25 year old JP who posted lewd photos of himself on the internet. All you have to do is Google "Steve Sarkis" and you will see drunken photos of him grabbing at his penis and his gay friend trying french kiss him. Yuck! Apparently he even has a criminal record and had a warrant issued for his arrest. The JP and constable positions are so ridiculous. No one should be able to dispense justice and play judge without a formal legal education, a J.D., Pass the bar exam, etc.

gilbertresident said...

Mr. Urie's company currently manages my rental house, and today I receive this email from him:
Dear xxx yyy:

You may or may not know that I am running for Justice of the Peace for the Highland District Court. Many people ask me what a justice of the peace does. Well, a justice of the peace is a judge that.....

The reason that I am sharing this with you is that your rental property is located in the district that I am running for the office of justice of the peace. With your permission, I would like to put one of my campaign signs (2 x 2) at your property.

If you are okay with me putting a sign at your property, simply click on the reply button and return this mail to me.

I appreciate your consideration in this matter. You may also visit my campaign web site at

Steve Urie