November general election contest preview

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By Chase Kamp Copper Area News

As the primary season concludes, the County general election races are slowly setting in for November. At press time, election officials released unofficial tallies but were still counting provisional and mail-in ballots.

One race in particular hinges on these additional votes. In the District 2 Republican Supervisor race, Maricopa Mayor Anthony Smith led Nancy Discher by only 43 votes, with Fred Mackenzie a close third.

Discher showed a slim lead after an initial round of results was posted on the County elections website, but Smith overtook her in the latest numbers.

The Republican winner will face unchallenged Democrat Henry Wade. District 4 consists of SaddleBrooke, Arizona City and Maricopa.

In the race for Sheriff, incumbent Paul Babeu clinched the Republican nod over challengers Tom Bearup, Jack McClaren and Derek Arnson.

He will face Democratic challenger Kevin Taylor, a Maricopa resident and owner of a private security firm, and independent candidate Ty Morgan, a career lawman and PCSO Sergeant.

Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick defeated challenger Wenona Baldenegro Benally for the Democratic nomination in Congressional District 1 and will face Republican challenger Jonathan Paton, a former state lawmaker.

Kirkpatrick held the old CD-1 seat before she was defeated by Paul Gosar in 2010. CD-1 consists of rural central and eastern Pinal, as well as northern Arizona cities like Show Low and Flagstaff.

Gosar won his primary in the new CD-4 and will face. The district contains northern Pinal cities like Apache Junction and San Tan Valley.

In LD-8, Democrats Ernest Bustamante and Emily Verdugo will face off against the Republican incumbent Frank Pratt as well as Republican candidate Thomas T.J. Shope. There are two seats open. Editorial note: In last week’s Copper Area publications, we reported in error that only Bustamante and Pratt would go into the General Election. We regret the error.

Pratt is currently the Representative for LD-23 but is running in newly drawn LD-8, which consists of area of Coolidge, Kearny and Mammoth. Bustamante served in the state legislature for two years beginning in 2003. Verdugo and Shope are both new to the state legislature.

The County Board of Supervisors was expanded to include five total seats from the previous three. State law dictated Pinal County to expand to five Supervisors if the populated reached above 200,000. Census results in 2010 showed an estimated County population of 375,000.

In District 1, Democratic incumbent and former state legislator Pete Rios will face Republican Gem Cox and independent candidate Alicia Bristow. Current District 3 Supervisor David Snider, a Democrat, will face Republican Stephen Miller and independent Roberto Almaguer.

The District 2 Republican primary saw former PCSO Director Cheryl Chase beating out four challengers for a spot on the ticket. Chase may face Democratic write-in candidate Margo Feldmiller.

“Margo Feldmiller will have her name on the ballot in November and will run against the Republican nominee provided that she at least got 38 write-in votes, the number of signatures that were required on nomination petitions for her office and party,” said Elections Director Steve Kizer.

In the northern Pinal District 5, which is made of areas of Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, Republican Todd House will face unchallenged Democrat Maxine Brown.

For County Assessor, Republican Douglas Wolf will face unchallenged Democrat Randy Robbins.

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