Triadvocates Navigator Special Edition: August 5, 2020

August 05,2020 | TRIADVOCATES

August 5, 2020

2020 Arizona Primary Election:

It's not over 'til it's over...but we may as well speculate.

Roughly 85,000 votes have yet to be counted as election officials process the highest number of ballots cast in an Arizona primary. While a handful of races are close enough to be significantly impacted by the remaining votes, we have a pretty good idea of what most match-ups will look like in November.

Here’s a rundown of the most contentious legislative races, the biggest upsets and some interesting takeaways from the Arizona primary (as of 5 p.m. today):


LD 15 (Scottsdale)

Perhaps the most heated legislative primary in Maricopa County remains too close to call, as conservative Rep. Nancy Barto leads Sen. Heather Carter by roughly 950 votes in LD 15. Carter is among the Senate’s more moderate Republicans, while Barto’s views on vaccines and transgender rights make her one of the most conservative members of the Legislature. The winner of this primary election takes the Senate seat as no other party ran a candidate in the district.

While the focus in LD 15 has been primarily on the heated Senate race, the district has two open seats in the House (due to vacancies created by Rep. Nancy Barto, who’s attempting to swap chambers by ousting Sen. Heather Carter, and Rep. John Allen, who’s running for Maricopa County Treasurer). We’ll have two political newcomers representing LD15 in the House—Steve Kaiser, an army veteran who now runs a junk hauling franchise, and Justin Wilmeth, a former House staffer and GOP campaign operative, prevailed yesterday. They’ll face Democratic opposition from Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko in November, but are expected to win given the district’s strong Republican voter base.


LD 6 (Northern Arizona)

In one of the biggest upsets of the night, Wendy Rogers ousted incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen in the Republican primary. Democrats are eyeing LD 6 as a possible pick-up in the general election (Dems came within 2 percentage points of winning the district in 2018), and it has long been considered one of the most crucial districts as Republicans fight to maintain control of the state Senate. The Democratic nominee, Felicia French, will be a very strong contender, especially given that her campaign's war chest more than doubles what Rogers has been able to raise. Oh, and if the name "Wendy Rogers" sounds familiar, it’s because it is...she has made multiple runs for Congress and the Legislature.


LD 23 (Scottsdale)

In Scottsdale, voters backed Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita for another term in the Senate. While her primary challenger, lawyer Alexander Kolodin, focused his campaign on his opponent’s scandals, Ugenti-Rita handily won the GOP nomination.

On the House side, it appears that incumbent Rep. Jay Lawrence will not be returning to the Capitol. Lawrence, a conservative radio host and longtime fixture of the local political scene, continues to trail behind newcomer Joseph Chaplik, who owns a commercial real estate business and campaigned on a “conservative, business approach with common sense policies.” Another term is all but certain for incumbent Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, who continues to hold a strong lead.


LD 8 (Globe, Eloy, Casa Grande)

Despite having been the subject of an ethics investigation earlier this year, Rep. David Cook easily won the Republican nomination for the LD 8 race in the House. In what remains the closest legislative race, newcomer Neal Carter is leading state Sen. Frank Pratt by just 22 votes. The top two GOP candidates will face Democrat Sharon Girard in the general election.


LD 27 (South Phoenix)

In South Phoenix, former legislator Catherine Miranda attempted to make a comeback, challenging LD 27 incumbent Reps. Reginald Bolding and Diego Rodriguez. Miranda, who endorsed Gov. Doug Ducey and is often at odds with her party on issues like reproductive rights, failed to lock down the votes needed to oust Bolding and Rodriguez.


LD 26 (Tempe)

In Tempe, Sen. Juan Mendez and state Rep. Athena Salman teamed up with political newcomer and paramedic Melody Hernandez to form a slate they dubbed the “Millennial Clean Team”—a publicly financed, left-wing platform. Despite facing formidable primary opponents backed by the business community, Mendez and Salman received strong support from voters. The husband-and-wife legislative duo will both advance to the general election. However, things aren't so certain for the third member of their team. Hernandez currently leads Debbie Nez-Manual by only 261 votes, so this race is still too close to call. The top two vote-getters (between Salman, Hernandez and Nez-Manuel) will face Bill Loughrige and Seth “Marcus” Sifuentes in the general election to represent LD 26 in the House, while Mendez will battle Republican Jae Chin for the Senate seat.


LD 25 (Mesa)

In Mesa, Speaker Rusty Bowers and Rep. Michelle Udall easily secured the GOP nomination for a return to the House representing LD 25—despite a challenge from Kathy Pearce, sister of recalled legislator Russell Pearce.


Here’s where things stand in each legislative race as of 5 p.m. today:

(**) Denotes incumbent

Candidates in blue will advance to general election (results as of 5 p.m. today)

Candidates in red are still too close to call (results as of 5 p.m. today)


LD 1


Karen Fann** – R

Gilbert Carrillo – D


Selena Bliss – R

Judy Burges – R

Ed Cocchiola – R

Quang Nguyen – R

Steven Sensmeier – R

Judy Stahl – D


LD 2


Rosanna Gabaldón – D (currently serving in the House)

Mark Workman – R


Andrea Dalessandro – D (currently serving in the Senate)

Daniel Hernandez** – D

Luis Parra – D

William “Billy” Peard – D

Deborah McEwen – R


LD 3


Sally Ann Gonzales** – D


Andres Cano** – D

Alma Hernandez** – D

Javier Soto – D


LD 4


Lisa Otondo** – D

Travis Angry – R


Charlene Fernandez** – D

Geraldine Peten** – D

Joel John – R


LD 5


Sonny Borelli** – R


Leo Biasiucci** – R

Regina Cobb** – R


LD 6


Sylvia Allen** – R

Wendy Rogers – R

Felicia French – D


Walt Blackman** – R

Brenda Barton – R

Art Babbott – I

Coral Evans – D


LD 7


Jamescita Peshlakai** – D


Arlando Teller** – D

Myron Tsosie** – D

Jim Parks – R

David Peelman – R


LD 8


T.J. Shope – R (currently serving in the House)

Barbara McGuire – D


David Cook** – R

Frank Pratt – R (currently serving in the Senate)

Neal Carter – R

Sharon Girard – D


LD 9


Victoria Steele** – D


Randy Friese** – D

Pamela Powers Hannley** – D

Brendan Lyons – R


LD 10


Kirsten Engel – D (currently serving in the House)

Justine Wadsack – R


Domingo DeGrazia** – D

Stephanie Stahl Hamilton – D

Paul Stapleton-Smith – D

Mabelle Gummere – R

Michael Hicks – R


LD 11


Vince Leach** – R

JoAnna Mendoza – D


Linda Patterson – D

Mark Finchem** – R

Bret Roberts** – R

Felipe R. Perez – D


LD 12


Warren Petersen – R (currently serving in the House)

Lynsey Robinson – D


Travis Grantham** – R

Jake Hoffman – R


LD 13


Sine Kerr** – R


Tim Dunn** – R

Joanne Osborne** – R

Steve Montenegro – R

Mariana Sandoval – D


LD 14


David Gowan** – R

Bob Karp – D


Becky Nutt** – R

Gail Griffin** – R

Kimberly “Kim” Beach-Moschetti – D

Ronnie Maestas-Condos – D


LD 15


Heather Carter** – R

Nancy Barto – R (currently serving in the House)


Jarret Hamstreet – R

Steve Kaiser – R

Justin Wilmeth – R

Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko – D


LD 16


Kelly Townsend – R (currently serving in the House)


John Fillmore** – R

Lisa Godzich – R

Forest J. Moriarty – R

Jacqueline Parker – R


LD 17


J.D. Mesnard** – R

Allan “A.J.” Kurdoglu – D


Jeff Weninger** – R

Jennifer Pawlik** – D

Liz Harris – R


LD 18


Sean Bowie** – D

Suzanne Sharer – R


Mitzi Epstein** – D

Jennifer Jermaine** – D

Bob Robson – R


LD 19


Lupe Contreras** – D


Diego Espinoza** – D

Lorenzo Sierra** – D

Leezah Sun – D


LD 20


Paul Boyer** – R

Douglas Ervin – D


Shawnna Bolick** – R

Anthony Kern** – R

Judy Schwiebert – D


LD 21


Rick Gray** – R

Brian Whitman – D

Ryan Elridge – R (write-in candidate)


Kevin Payne** – R

Randy Miller – R

Beverly Pingerelli – R

Kathy Knecht – D


LD 22


David Livingston** – R

Van DiCarlo – R

Hop Nguyen – R

Sarah Tyree – D


Frank Carroll** – R

Ben Toma** – R

Wendy Garcia – D

Mary “Kathleen” Honne – D


LD 23


Michelle Ugenti-Rita** – R

Alexander Kolodin – R

Seth Blattman – D


John Kavanagh** – R

Jay Lawrence** – R

Joseph Chaplik – R

Eric Kurland – D


LD 24


Lela Alston** – D

Ryan Starzyk – D


Jennifer Longdon** – D

Amish Shah** – D


LD 25


Tyler Pace** – R

Paul Weigel – D


Rusty Bowers** – R

Michelle Udall** – R

Kathy Pearce – R

Suzanne Hug – D


LD 26


Juan Mendez** – D

Jana Lynn Granillo – D

Jae Chin – R


Athena Salman** – D

Melody Hernandez – D

Debbie Nez-Manuel – D

Patrick Morales – D

Bill Loughrige – R

Seth “Marcus” Sifuentes – R


LD 27


Rebecca Rios** – D

Garland Shreves – R


Reginald Bolding** – D

Diego Rodriguez** – D

Catherine Miranda – D

Tatiana Peña – R


LD 28


Kate Brophy McGee** – R

Christine Porter Marsh – D


Kelli Butler** – D

Aaron Lieberman** – D

Kenneth R. “Ken” Bowers Jr. – R

Jana Jackson – R


LD 29


Martín Quezada** – D

John Wilson – R


Richard Andrade** – D

César Chávez** – D

Teddy Castro – D

Billy Bragg – R

Helen Fokszanskyi-Conti – R

Alysia “Ariesuptop” McMillan – R


LD 30


Tony Navarrete** – D


Robert Meza** – D

Raquel Terán** – D


Keep an eye out for another edition of The Navigator this week. We'll have updated results along with a more in-depth look at key city, county and congressional races in Arizona.


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