By Chase Kamp Southeast Valley Ledger
The voters of Pinal County have spoken: the results of the 2012 general election showed a number of incumbents falling short to prevailing challengers, while a few party favorites stood fast. The unofficial tallies from the County elections office at press time indicated there would be some new faces in Florence.
The newly expanded five-seat County Board of Supervisors was shaken up and tinted red. In District 1, Dem. Pete Rios managed to retain his seat by a healthy margin, defeating his two opponents Gem Cox (R) and Alicia Bristow (I) by grabbing nearly half the vote.
However, District 3 Dem. David Snider fell short against Rep. challenger Stephen Miller. The final tally showed Miller with 46.8 percent of the vote to Snider’s 41.5, a difference of about 800 votes.
The rest of the Board is also going to the Republicans. Cheryl Chase won the District 2 seat against Dem. Margo Feldmiller, pulling down nearly two-thirds of the vote in the San Tan Valley area.
Rep. Anthony Smith prevailed against Henry Wade in District 4, which consists of parts of Maricopa and a wide swath of southern Pinal County. Smith won 59 percent of the vote to Wade’s 42 percent.
Rep. Todd House defeated Maxine Brown (D) in District 5, which is made of Apache Junction, Gold Canyon and Queen Valley. House won 60 percent of the vote, winning by a margin of about 4,000 votes.
After a particularly fiery campaign, Rep. Lando Voyles defeated incumbent Dem. James Walsh for the County Attorney seat with 53 percent of the vote.
Incumbent and Voyles co-campaigner Sheriff Paul Babeu and was handily re-elected with more than 53 percent of the vote, while incumbent County Treasurer Dolores Doolittle (D) squeaked by challenger Steven Boyd (R) by about 1,200 votes.
In the Congressional races, Ann Kirkpatrick (D) will be returning to Washington. She won her race for the CD-1 seat over Jonathan Paton (R) by three points. Rep. Paul Gosar easily won his race in CD-4, returning to Washington after representing the previous CD-1 district.
In the state legislature, both Democrats and Republicans saw victories. Dem. Barbara McGuire defeated Rep. Joe Ortiz in the LD-8 Senate race, while Rep. Al Melvin defeated Dem. Jo Holt for the LD-11 Senate.
Duos of old and new Republicans reigned supreme in the state House races, however. In LD-11, incumbent Steve Smith (R) and newcomer Adam Kawasman (R) won their House seats. In a tight LD-8 race, incumbent Frank Pratt (R) won alongside T.J. Shope (R) by margins of about one thousand votes against Democrats Ernest Bustamante and Emily Verdugo.
The winners in the Oracle Elementary School Board race were Linda Thomas, Jeffrey McClure and Elizabeth Harmon. In the Ray Unified School District race, Nancy Wilkinson defeated Nancy Magdaleno.
In the Oracle Fire District race, the top five voter winners were Charlotte Poole, Ellie Brown, John Doran, Manuel Navarro and Bud Bristow.
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