Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D), who appears to be the prohibitive favorite to replace Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) in the US House (she is running for the Senate), announced that he will resign his current position on May 29th. Under Arizona election law, a sitting public official running for another office must resign the current position in order to appear on the ballot for the subsequent office. The move means Phoenix will soon see a councilmember ascend to the Mayor’s position on an interim basis followed by a special election. The winner will then serve the balance of the term.
A new FM3 Research survey (4/29-5/3; 400 AZ-2 likely Democratic primary voters) indicates that former US Representative and ex-US Senate candidate Ann Kirkpatrick (D) has dropped behind 2016 congressional nominee Matt Heinz in the battle for the open 2nd District Democratic nomination. According to the FM3 results, Mr. Heinz now posts a 27-23% advantage over the former Congresswoman.
Ms. Kirkpatrick previously represented the sprawling eastern Arizona 1st District, which is anchored in Flagstaff but moved to Tucson after losing the 2016 US Senate race. The Arizona primary is not until August 28th, so plenty of time remains for what now appears to be a volatile nomination campaign. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson) is vacating the district to run for Senate. This general election contest will likely earn a toss-up rating.
Just a day after losing the special congressional election to former state Senate President Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), physician Hiral Tiperneni, the Democratic special election nominee who drew 47% of the vote, announced that she will become a candidate for the regular term. Arizona candidate filing closes on May 30th with the regular state primary scheduled for August 28th. With a more regular voting pattern likely to occur for the general election, Rep-Elect Lesko’s support preference should increase at least into the high 50s.
Former state Senate President Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) successfully held the vacant northwestern Maricopa County district for the Republicans last night, scoring a 53-47% victory over physician Hiral Tipirneni (D). The turnout of 173,708 voters represented a larger participation rate than was found in the last midterm election (2014), becoming the fourth US House special election in this current election cycle to post such a ratio. With the addition of Ms. Lesko to the Republican Conference, the House party division is now 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats with four vacancies. The Republicans will lose one more member in May when Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown) resigns his seat as previously announced.
Northern Maricopa County voters go to the polls today to choose a successor to resigned Rep. Trent Franks (R-Peoria). The strongly Republican electorate is expected to choose former State Senate President Pro Tempore Debbie Lesko (R). Democrats nominated physician Hiral Tiperneni as the party standard bearer. Most polling has given Ms. Lesko almost a double-digit lead, though one survey from last week, from Emerson College, found Dr. Tiperneni grasping a one-point advantage. Emerson’s latest study, however, (4/19-21; 400 AZ-8 likely special election voters) returns the Republican to a 49-43% advantage.
Objecting to Gov. Doug Ducey (R) supporting a bill that would give state teachers a 19% pay increase without ostensibly raising taxes, thus calling the approach fiscally irresponsible, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett said yesterday that he will challenge the Governor in the August 28th Republican primary.
Mr. Bennett ran in the 2014 open gubernatorial primary but placed a disappointing fourth. He also ran for the US House and failed to win the party nomination. Therefore, it remains unclear as to how strong former Secretary Bennett’s challenge will become. He was originally appointed Secretary of State, and won election to a full term in 2010 with 59% of the vote. He did not seek re-election in 2014 because he entered the Governor’s primary. Prior to his statewide service, Mr. Bennett served in the Arizona Senate, rising to become the body’s President.
A day after Magellan Strategies released a survey that showed Rep. Martha McSally (R-Tucson) expanding her previous lead in the Republican Senate primary, OH Predictive Insights for ABC15 in Phoenix finds a completely different take. Their poll (4/10-11; 600 AZ 600 likely voters; 302 AZ likely Republican primary voters) shows ex-state Sen. Kelli Ward, who was in last place in the Magellan survey and all others previously commissioned, to be leading Rep. McSally and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, 36-27-22%. Looking at the sample size of just 302 Republican voters from the entire state suggests the error factor is extremely high for this study, and even more questionable when seeing that no other survey result projects Ms. Ward with the overall lead.
In the general election, where the sample size of 600 should yield more accurate information, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix), the consensus presumed Democratic nominee, leads all three Republicans. The closest match up comes with Rep. McSally, where the three-term Democratic Congresswoman leads 48-42%.
Voters in the northern Phoenix suburbs will go to the polls on April 24th to choose a replacement for resigned Rep. Trent Franks (R-Peoria). In late February, Republicans nominated former state Senate President Pro Tempore Debbie Lesko, while Democrats chose physician Hiral Tipirneni.
OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based survey research company, tested the special election on April 11th (500 likely AZ-8 special election voters) and found Ms. Lesko leading Dr. Tipirneni, 53-43%. The overwhelming number of Republican voters in this district allowed Ms. Lesko to develop the double-digit lead. On a positive front for Tipirneni, she led Lesko among Independent voters, 52-40%, and is solid within the Democratic base. Her problem is there are not enough Democrats and Independents to overcome Lesko’s Republican/conservative support.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research released survey results (released March 29; sample size not available) for the firm’s gubernatorial candidate, Democratic state Sen. Steve Farley (D-Tucson), but there is not enough information included to derive the most accurate conclusion. According to the totals, Sen. Farley would only trail Gov. Doug Ducey (R), 49-44%, and the pollster makes the point that the Governor’s approval ratio is upside down at a surprisingly poor 41:54% positive to negative.
But, the survey also shows that Sen. Farley, who is recognized by 33% of the sample, is also upside down in approval at 15:18%. The result raises questions when a person with low name ID also has poor approval ratings. Additionally, Mr. Farley’s Democratic primary opponent, Arizona State University professor David Garcia who was leading Farley in a previously released poll, apparently was not tested.
The next special congressional election, this one to replace resigned Rep. Trent Franks (R-Peoria), will be held on April 24th. With former state Senate President Pro Tempore Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) winning the special Republican primary on February 27th, she is the clear favorite to win the special general in what performs as a safe Republican seat. According to a new Lake Research poll (3/3-6; 400 AZ-8 likely special election voters), Ms. Lesko would lead her Democratic opponent, Scientific Review Officer Hiral Tipirneno (D), by a strong 48-34% margin.
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