Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The 2012 primaries: one major disappointment, a minor one, but otherwise, no real surprises

Tuesday's primaries are over, and the post-game analysis is in full swing.  As I wasn't able to live blog the results last night due to being otherwise occupied (at David Schapira's election night gathering in Tempe.  Hard to type when it is too dark to see the keyboard... :) ).

There were a couple of disappointments, but the only surprises Tuesday were in margins of victory (or loss, depending on your perspective), not in end results.

First, the disappointments -

- The biggest disappointment of the evening was, of course, David Schapira's second place finish, behind Kyrsten Sinema, in the Democratic primary in CD9.  He ran a positive and energetic campaign, earned the respect of many people who had never heard of him before this campaign (and reinforced the respect of the many people who *had* heard of him), and has a bright future despite this one loss, the first in his electoral career.

- A minor disappointment, but not a surprise, was the ability of LD23 R state reps John Kavanagh and Michelle Ugenti to fend off the challenge of Jennifer Petersen, a member of the Scottsdale school district governing board.  Petersen has a reputation as a pragmatic public servant, ergo, she had almost no chance of getting through a Republican primary.  Her north Scottsdale district used to send a highly-respected moderate R to the lege in the person of Carolyn Allen.  Now, the most "moderate" is State Sen. Michelle Reagan, and she has gone hard to the right, probably in preparation for an expected Congressional or statewide run.  The winner of the CD9 race in November, regardless of partisan affiliation, should probably start oppo research on her, at just about the time that the polls close.

Now, the (mostly pleasant) surprises -

- In the LD25 Senate R primary, disgraced former state senator Russell Pearce lost big to Mesa businessman Bob Worsley in his bid to return to the senate.  He has now lost a recall election by double digit percentage points, where he argued that if only Republicans could've voted in it (like, say, as in a primary), he would have won.  Well, he got the primary that he wanted, and...he lost by double digit percentage points.

- The other Pearce, Lester, lost his primary race for the 2nd District seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to businessman Steve Chucri.  It was by an equally resounding margin (double digits, baby!).

- Pearce ally John Fillmore lost his bid for the LD16 state senate R nomination to Pearce foe Rich Crandall.

- In the one victory for the Pearce machine, Sylvia Allen, currently in the state senate, won her primary race for the Republican nomination for the 3rd District seat on the Navajo County Board of Supervisors.  She won with 80% of the vote, but her opponent ran as a $500 Exemption candidate, while she had the thousands of dollars that she transferred from the legislative campaign committee.

- In the R primary for US Senate, it wasn't surprising to see Jeff Flake defeat Wil Cardon, nor even to do so soundly.  However, Flake didn't just win soundly - he absolutely thumped Cardon, gaining more than three times as many votes as Cardon. 


- In Pinal County, embattled Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu held off multiple challengers for the R nomination, which in itself isn't much of a surprise - he was expected to win a plurality of the votes because the other candidates would split the anti-Babeu vote.  What is surprising is that Babeu got 61% of the vote.  The other three candidates combined didn't equal his total.

- In the LD24 D primaries, Katie Hobbs (Senate) and Lela Alston and Chad Campbell (House) easily turned aside the challenges from Ken Cheuvront (Senate) and his mom Jean and Tom Nerini (House), respectively.  While Hobbs was clearly the better candidate in her race, Cheuvront had money and name recognition on his side, so Hobbs' margin of victory was a bit of a surprise (>20 percentage points).

- In the CD6 R primary, freshman Congressman David Schweikert defeated fellow freshman Ben Quayle.  As a Democrat, I viewed that race much like I viewed the 2000 World Series between the Yankees and the Mets as a Red Sox fan - I hoped both would lose.  It didn't work out that way, but at least one lost. :)

- In the City of Scottsdale's mayoral race, incumbent Jim Lane received the most votes, which was no surprise.  What was surprising was his margin of victory - he gained a majority of votes cast, easily avoiding a November runoff against one of his challengers - businessman/community activist John Washington or businessman Drew Bernhardt.

Democratic primary results from Maricopa County are here (state and federal) and here (county)..
Republican primary results from Maricopa County are here (state and federal) and here (county).
Other party and non-partisan results from Maricopa County are here.
Results from the AZ Secretary of State are here.

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