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An Overview of Arizona Primary Races - Part 1: Statewide and Congressional Races

Welcome back to my omnibus compendium of Arizona’s upcoming primary races in the style of my 2018 summaries (that’s just LDs 21-30, links for 1-20, Congressional, and statewide races are in that post). The primary is set to take place August 4th – early voting ballots should be mailed out on or around July 6th.
Arizona’s a really interesting state (I may be a hair biased), since it not only is home to 2-3 swing House seats and a high-profile Senate race, but also tenuous majorities in both state houses that could – theoretically – neuter Ducey’s trifecta this fall. And counties have their races this year as well, and I’ll highlight some of the fireworks ongoing in Maricopa.
If you’re interested about which district you live in, check https://azredistricting.org/districtlocato. If you want to get involved with your local Democratic party, find your legislative district on the previous link (NOT CD), and then search for your LD’s name at this link. Feel free to attend meetings, they’re a great way to get involved with candidates and like-minded individuals. If you wish to donate to a “clean elections” candidate (mentioned in the post as “clean”), you will have to live in that candidate’s legislative district to give qualifying $5 contributions (check here if anyone needs it in your area), but they are allowed to accept a limited amount of “seed money” from people outside of the district. The three CorpComm candidates can take $5’s statewide.
If you do not want to vote at the polls, you will need to request an early ballot using the website of your county’s recorder prior to July 4th. Example links for Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal. Others available if needed.
Race ratings for listed primaries will be listed as Solid/Likely/Leans/Tossup and are not indicative of my own preference for that seat. I’ll denote my personal primary preferences at the end of this series, as well as the best Republican ticket for the Dems if someone here really really wants to pull a GOP ballot in the primary. I do not advise it, but since I can't stop ya, you'll get my best suggestions.
Write-in candidates have yet to file, which could give us an outside chance at getting some Libertarians on the ballot (the Greens have lost their ballot access).
If you have any questions about voting in the primary, which races are the most contested, and how to get involved with other Democrats in Arizona, feel free to PM me.
All fundraising numbers here are as of 12/31/2019 – although Q1 numbers are dropping within a week or so. I’ll probably post a quick update after signature challenges are done and all Q1 numbers are in the books. Candidates who are partially self-funding have how much they’ve given to themselves listed after their COH as an indicator of how much of their own cash they’re pouring into the race. Not all of it, obviously, is still on hand.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN SOLELY IN MY CAPACITY AS A VOTER IN ARIZONA, AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY ORGANIZATIONS I WORK/ED FOR OR AM/WAS A MEMBER OF. THIS POST IS IN NO WAY ENDORSED BY THE ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR ANY SUB-ORGANIZATION THEREOF, OR ANY FILED CANDIDATE.
Statewides
Without further ado, the statewide races! Or more precisely, race. (US Senate is counted as a congressional)
Corporations Commission
I know this is what each and every one of you has been waiting for, the Corporations Commission! (hereafter CorpComm)
Yes, just like Arizona is the only state in the country with an elected mine inspector, it is also only one of 14 which has an elected Public Utilities commission. The AZ Constitution explicitly calls for this because, to quote Wikipedia: “its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials”.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even though the commission is elected, lax-er campaign finance laws permit for public utilities to spend massive amounts of money on pro-utility candidates. The commission then raises utility rates, which means more money going to the utilities, and more money to spend on pro-utility candidates. And so on and so forth. The former chair, Susan Bitter-Smith, was removed due to a corruption complaint in 2017.
Therefore, corruption by the utilities is a big issue in this race, as well as how much to focus on renewable energy policies. An interesting side-effect is that far more candidates for CorpComm are signing up for public funding, which locks them into some pretty strict rules (thanks to the GOP legislature and voters in 2018).
The commission is a five member board, staggered so that three seats are up in presidential years, and two are up in midterm elections. Because of this, incumbents Sandra Kennedy (D) and Justin Olson (R) are safe until 2022.
Moderate Republican Bob Burns did not file run for re-election (he was kinda pro-solar and viciously anti-corruption, I’ll miss the guy), while definitely-not-moderate Andy Tobin was tapped by Ducey to lead the Department of Administration (HR, procurement, accounting, etc. for state agencies and replaced by 2018 AZ-02 GOP nominee Lea Marquez Peterson ($7K COH, clean – hereafter LMP). Boyd Dunn ($39.5K COH) is the one Republican elected in 2016 who is trying to return for another term.
LMP’s decision to run clean – instead of “traditional” (not taking public funds) – is quite odd for established GOP candidates. This could be a sign of changing voter attitudes, pointing to corruption being a larger and larger issue for both GOP and Dem. voters.
There are three Dems running for the three seats. Former commissioner and 2016 and 2018 CorpComm nominee Bill Mundell ($10.6K COH, clean), teacher and education activist Shea Stanfield ($4.7K COH, clean), and Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar ($1.8K COH, clean). All 3 progress automatically to the general election. Tovar in particular is a big get for Dems – she was a former Senate Minority Leader and it’s a great sign that she’s back in the fight and wanting to run statewides
I’d be remiss if I didn’t quickly touch on my dislike of Mundell – the 2018 CorpComm primary was very contentious due to Mundell persuading his runningmate Sandra Kennedy (and not the other way around, as I had wrongly assumed back then) to going very negative against the other Democrat in the race, Kiana Sears. Mundell lost that primary to Sears and Kennedy (2 seats were up then), but his attack campaign was strong enough that Kennedy and Sears were driven from being pleasant acquaintances (both being liberal black women in utility-related politics) to not being on speaking terms. Sears lost that race – it’s anyone’s guess how much of that was due to the ugly primary. The uncontested nature here should help Dems somewhat from cannibalizing one of their own.
On the Republican challenger’s side there are quite a few candidates. Outside of Dunn and LMP, former legislator David Farnsworth ($6.7K COH) is the chief candidate, and seems set to come into this race with a decent amount of legislative connections and backing. But Kim Owens ($2.5K COH) has stronger experience claims – having spent 3 terms on the Salt River Project Council (basically a mini CorpComm), as well as 5 terms on a school board. The SRP connections come at a cost though, as they don’t play well in this political climate. And despite being endorsed by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ, CD8), Owens has been taking some flack from further-right organizations for her past work on the George Bush and John Kasich presidential campaigns.
Other candidates in the Republican race include 2018 failed candidate Eric Sloan - who is making a visible outreach to the Trumpier side of the party and is running in opposition to clean energy mandates ($3.5K COH, clean) and Nick Myers ($1.7K, clean), who ran for HD12 in 2018 on a platform of banning all public schools. It’s again noteworthy that Sloan and Myers – who both eschewed clean funding in 2018 (and as far I can remember one of the two had strong negative words about the program) – are now running clean. Neither is favored in the primary but Sloan could theoretically muscle himself into 3rd place with enough pro-Trump rhetoric.
The general will probably see both groups of candidates more or less match the generic ballot statewide, but the campaign finance rules in Arizona could play an interesting role. Democrats will naturally be at a disadvantage due to locking themselves into rather restrictive campaign finance rules (can’t raise over a certain amount, banned from using specific party resources, etc.) - but so will LMP or Sloan/Myers if they win. And while the Democrats will all be operating alone, LMP (or the two oddballs) wont be able to do the same things GOP candidates running traditional can do – both from a stance of political pragmatism and of legality. That could lead to some disjointedness that the GOP definitely doesn’t want.
The two sides are evenly matched in terms of candidate quality – LMP and Tovar, Dunn and Mundell, and Stanfield and Farnsworth are all roughly comparable – but this may tilt slightly in the Dems’ favor if one of the other GOP candidates makes it on.
hunter15991 Rating: Dems. unopposed. Solid Dunn, Likely LMP, Leans Farnsworth. Leans GOP general.
Congressional Races
Ok, you've had your veggies. Time for the fun stuff.
Congressional District 1
CD1 is one of 2-3 districts that the national parties are probably focusing in on for this cycle (R+2, Trump+1, Sinema+4). On the Democratic side, Representative Tom O’Halleran ($918.8K COH) is running for re-election. Originally a Republican legislator, O’Halleran slowly veered left as the state party veered rightwards, and is now on the liberal end of the Blue Dog Democrats.
O’Halleran faces a tougher primary than he’s used to (not a high bar to clear, though) in the form of Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova ($15.2K), running strongly to O’Halleran’s left. Putzova’s campaign got off to a bit of a rocky start, and while she’s found her footing she still significantly lags behind O’Halleran in COH and in name recognition outside of Flagstaff. While Flagstaff is the largest and most liberal city in the district, it’s still <10% of the total population of this very rural district. Putzova will be able to close the margins O’Halleran set against a similar further-left candidate in 2016, but O’Halleran’s strong connections with the indigenous communities that make up 25% of the district’s population (and therefore close to 50% of the Dem. voting base there) should put him over the line in August. A 3rd big name Dem., former State Senator Barb McGuire, has filed to run for her old Senate seat in SD8 instead and dropped out from the AZ-01 race.
On the Republican side it’s an absolute recruiting nightmare, even worse so than in 2018 when outsider perennial candidate Wendy Rogers beat out theocratic legislative superstar Steve Smith. The current frontrunner for this race is Tiffany Shedd ($112.3K COH), a farmer and shotgun coach who took a distant last place in the GOP primary here in 2018. I’ve linked not to her website but to her announcement video, where she gives the lamest voice-over possible, throws out countless trite references to how horrible it is that “a 29 year-old girl from New York is telling us what to do at the border” (whoever could that possibly be?), and insinuates (but never says) that she once shot at a band of men approaching her farm. It’s worth watching.
I should add at this point that while her video goes on and on with immigrant race-baiting and references to “the wall”, no part of AZ-01 is even in the same county as the US-Mexico border. These are tactics 2018 nominee Wendy Rogers (more on her in the legislative section) loved to use, and she lost to O’Halleran.
Shedd snagged the endorsements of people like Kevin McCarthy and Jon Kyl rather early on, dissuading former baseball star Curt Schilling from running and consolidating the active field of candidates around her (which is good, because one guy who bailed on the race – Safford Vice Mayor and former Army paratrooper Chris Taylor - could have been quite dangerous, especially with his Spanish fluency). Shedd is the only Arizonan in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, listed as “On The Radar” (their lowest tier). The two other Republicans who have qualified for the ballot (pending signatures) are businessman Noel Reidhead ($35.4K COH) and Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley (no reports yet filed). Reidhead seems to be a hair more charismatic and professional than Shedd, but stands little chance building anti-establishment cred vs. Shedd, especially taking into account whatever infrastructure she has from her 2018 run. Shamley too could theoretically pose Shedd trouble with his past political experience as a Republican in a very Democratic county (although it’s very polarized, and he lives in the blood-red Mormon area), but he is also quite a conspiracy theorist (all 4 links are worth a read). Shamley also has only ~10.3% buffer on his petition signatures (it’s recommended to aim for at least 25% if not far more) and could be knocked off the ballot by a stiff breeze.
In the general it’s looking like it’ll be O’Halleran vs. Shedd, and without significant GOP backup from IE’s and downballot races it looks like Tom may blow the barn, er, shed doors off this next push by the GOP to oust him. This could shift towards Leans if Shedd posts a good quarter or two of fundraising and ups her digital game.
hunter15991 Rating: Likely O’Halleran, Likely Shedd. Likely O’Halleran general.
Congressional District 2
Moving right along to another GOP mess, CD2. Incumbent Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick ($621.1K COH) was admitted into an alcohol rehab program last fall, which sparked some thoughts that this district may end up being close. Republican candidates however have yet to create any sort of spark in this seat this year (well, outside of one vaguely threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick – upstanding citizen whom we’ll get to in a second).
Kirkpatrick is being primaried by former State Department official Peter Quilter (no reports yet filed). His issues page puts him as roughly rank-and-file with the rest of the party, so I’m a bit curious as to why he filed to run against an ideologically similar incumbent – but that’s his prerogative. Quilter started signature collection rather later and is also in danger of getting bounced off if someone challenges them.
On the GOP side it’s another AZ-01. I’m not even entirely sure who the frontrunner is, it’s that chaotic and stupid. Is it Shay Stautz ($65.6K COH), a rather mild-mannered former university administrator and national security expert, but whose $65.6K warchest includes $60K of his own money and who sits awfully close to falling below the signature line? Is it Brandon Martin ($9.2K), 2018 2nd place finisher and Army vet who seems to lead in the endorsement and signature game, but who has an atrocious burn rate and who has a tendency of insinuating people should shoot the Congresswoman currently representing the seat once held by Gabby Giffords? Is it Joseph Morgan ($4.6K COH), who has a respectable enough background as a newspaper columnist and nonprofit assistant and whom Martin considers his chief rival (judging by his press release claiming Morgan “flip flops on sanctuary cities), but who hasn’t tweeted since October and whose fundraising is abysmal? ($22.2K raised despite filing in February) I guess it isn’t Noran Eric Ruden (no reports filed), who filed late, has little online presence, and in general seems to be doing little campaigning – but with how bizarre the other candidates are Ruden could surprise me.
Whoever Kirkpatrick faces in the general is again going to be limping badly without outside GOP support. And this time the turf isn’t a Trump+1 rural district that’s slowly inching left, it’s a Clinton+5 seat situated in the suburbs of Arizona’s 2nd largest (and decidedly liberal) city. For competent state legislators this’d be a rather tall ask, for the motely crew the GOP have assembled above it’s almost a suicide mission.
The alcohol rehab issue with Kirkpatrick and potential fallout stemming from that is the only reason I don’t currently have this at Solid D. I realize the national and state party will get behind one candidate at some point but I don’t know how they could feasibly pull off this one given they triaged a significantly stronger candidate in 2018 – against a non-incumbent Kirkpatrick – who then lost to Ann by 10 points.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Kirkpatrick, Tossup GOP (Statuz/Morgan/Martin). Likely Kirkpatrick general.
Congressional District 3
Bit of a snoozefest here (thankfully for me since it’s then shorter to write). Incumbent Raul Grijalva ($211.2K) is running for another term, although he may retire after this next term which would set off a lot of drama in the district. He has no primary opposition and faces OIF Marine and current “Executive Protection Agent” (looks like a cross between a security consultant and bodyguard) Daniel Wood (no reports filed). Running in a D+13, Clinton+29 minority-majority district when your issues page consists solely of the words “Immigration - Coming Soon” is a bold plan. It’s also an insanely foolhardy one.
hunter15991 Rating: Uncontested primaries. Solid Grijalva general.
Congressional District 4
For every yin there is a yang, and in CD3’s case it’s its neighbor to the north, CD4. The current incumbent is far-right Congressman Paul Gosar ($222.6K), whose greatest hits need no introduction. I sat in on a conservative club’s meeting on campus and heard that, in his words, a “Justice Democrats Deep State Plant” was going to primary him soon, and to not fall for what she was spreading.
Well, sure as anything, he did get a primary challenger mere hours after that meeting ended, former McSally staffer Anne Marie Ward ($13.3K COH – no relation). Ward’s website points to her wanting to tack slightly closer to the center than Gosar (again, low bar to clear), in an effort to attract the youth back to conservatism. Her issues pages seems to possibly be purposefully vague. While I’d love for Gosar to be replaced someone less likely to fly to the UK to meet neo-Nazis or author resolutions thanking Hungarian autocrats for their leadership, Ward doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere in a hurry 6 months after she announced.
The Democratic side also poses no threat to Gosar. The nominal frontrunner is nurse Delina DiSanto ($13.3K COH), who lost to Dr. David Brill last year and was, coincidentally, the GOP nominee in CO-03 back in 2004. DiSanto’s political metamorphosis doesn’t end there, back in 2018 she hammered Brill for not supporting M4A enough, but her issues page this year seems very dialed down. DiSanto is being challenged by perennial candidate Stu Starky (no reports yet filed – though they should have since he declared in June). Starky is most noticeable for his Hail Mary Senate run against John McCain in 2004 (McCain won by 56 points), as well as multiple House runs in the late 90’s and apparently considered filing for President once. When he filed I saw his social media had a lot of pro-Green Party stuff in the past, but oddly enough his issues page now has a strong focus on deficit reduction of all things, and advocates for a public healthcare option.
Regardless, none of the 3 other candidates in the race can stop Gosar at this point, and I highly doubt any will ever be able to.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Gosar, Likely DiSanto. Solid Gosar general.
Congressional District 5
To quote my 2018 writeup: “I promise the fun stuff comes back soon enough. CD5 is something like CD4, except instead of a rural stretch of mountains filled with rednecks, it’s picturesque rows of suburban mansions filled with Mormons. Freedom Caucus nut and former President of the AZ Senate Andy Biggs ($481.8K COH) is the incumbent, having won the seat in a contentious primary in 2016.”
Yeah, not much has changed here. We’ll see what redistricting brings.
The three Dems vying for the seat are businesswoman/animal rights activist and 2018 nominee Joan Greene ($4.2K COH), teacher Jonathan Ireland (no reports filed) running on a standard Bernie-style platform, and attorney Javier Ramos (refusing to take donations, no filings), who’s running a very weird race and seems to be actively avoiding harping on his legal career.
I was impressed when Greene cracked 40% in 2018. There is no way any of these 3 could crack 50% in this district. Biggs’s only threat is in a primary, which he has escaped.
hunter15991 Rating: Biggs uncontested, Likely Greene. Solid Biggs general.
Congressional District 6
Told y’all the fun stuff was coming.
On paper, CD6 isn’t the most flippy of districts. Incumbent GOP Representative David Schweikert ($278.5K) has held the Democrat running below 40% for three straight elections after taking it from former Tempe mayor Harry Mitchell in the 2010 wave election. The candidate endorsements by azCentral for the 2016 Democratic primary bemoaned the lack of strong candidates, calling the eventual nominee “less unqualified for the job”.
But he had his margin cut to just 10 points in 2018 – a sign of swinging suburbs like Scottsdale – and this seat is one of the early few on the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list this year.
On the Dems. side, 2018 nominee Anita Malik ($46.2K COH), trying to improve on her 10 point loss in 2018. Malik, in my mind, is not the frontrunner in this primary, although I didn’t think she was last year and got stung. Dr. Hiral Vyas Tipirneni ($911.9K COH) is running for CD6 this time round, after two close elections (1 special, 1 general) in neighboring CD8. Hiral has been ribbed somewhat for this district hop, but I buy her justification – her work and community connections are all in CD6, and despite being registered in CD8 her house is so close to the boundary line that I think a small portion of her backyard is in CD6. Joining Malik and Tipirineni are businesswoman and 2x legislative candidate in the 2000’s Stephanie Rimmer ($67.5K COH, $114.5K self-funded), and businessman/former McCain legislative staffer Karl Gentles ($80.3K COH).
Malik and Tipirneni were great friends during the 2018 election, but they’ve rather soured now that they’re running against each other. While Gentles and Rimmer have strong ability for growth, I believe the race will come down to Malik and Tipirneni, and I think Tipirneni ends up taking the win in that regard. Malik enters the race with decent name rec. and has a decent bloc of progressive supporters and volunteers, but Hiral has a massive fundraising advantage (Malik anecdotally hates calling for donations) – far greater than Dr. Heather Ross’s in 2018 when she lost to Malik. Tipirneni is also quite beloved by the AZ Republic (judging by their glowing endorsement of her in the fall of 2018) – this is bad news for Malik because the Republic’s endorsement of her was seen as what pushed her across the line in the 2018 primary (Ross led narrowly in absentees, and Election Day ballots – the only ones post-endorsement – broke to Malik).
In the general, Hiral has all the ingredients going for her. Schweikert is running under the shadow of a House Ethics investigation, is doing atrociously in fundraising, and would be going up against a well-known campaigning and fundraising machine in the form of Tipirneni. Hiral’s drive can be seen by the fact that her first campaign office was opened in last November, a full 51 weeks before the election (typically they’ve opened around here in the spring or early summer). Downballot Dems. in the area are improving sizably in terms of fundraising, and enthusiasm is high. The seat is R+10, but McSally only one it by 3 in 2018, and that’s far too close for comfort if I’m David Schweikert. A private internal (I plied it out of a GOP friend of mine who works in his legislative office) shows Schweikert up by ~7-8, which when adjusting for the fact internals always slant in the commissioning campaign’s favor points to quite the close race. I can definitely see this race entering tossup category, especially if Tipirneni is the nominee.
I’ll close with another anecdote about just how scared Schweikert is of Hiral from the same staffer friend – news broke to Schweikert of Hiral’s announcement back last spring during a staff meeting in his office. Schweikert, on hearing the news she had filed, turned even more pale than he normally is and left the room in a fluster. My friend said he could hear him yelling after he left.
I hope he does the exact same on November 3rd.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Tipirneni, Schweikert uncontested. Leans Schweikert general.
Congressional District 7
The next two aren’t going to be all that interesting, so due to time constraints I’ll be a hair shallow on them. Incumbent Congressman Ruben Gallego ($859.3K COH) is uncontested on the Democratic side, and faces token GOP opposition in this deep blue district from businessman Josh Barnett ($634.64 COH) and community activist Nina Becker (no reports filed). Neither is particularly far above the signature minimum and if/when Gallego feels cheeky, both could be sued off the ballot.
hunter15991 Rating: Gallego uncontested, Likely Barnett. Solid Gallego general.
Congressional District 8
Once the site of a heated race between Tiprineni and Debbie Lesko ($379.2K COH), the district is on no one’s radar this time around. Lesko faces no GOP opposition in the primary, and the 3 Democratic candidates in the general – former HD22 candidate and businessman Michael Muscato ($14.4K COH), Army veteran Bob Olson ($39K COH, self-funding $50K), and former Litchfield Park City Councilman and City Manager Bob Musselwhite ($844 COH). Olson and Musselwhite ran in past years, with no real success. Musselwhite could theoretically have made a decent enough bid at the nomination either now or in past years, but doesn’t really seem to like campaigning and until recently shied away from his political experience in-district – a bizarre thing to do to say the least.
CD8 has a few intriguing candidates on its Dem. bench – most notably State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman – but for the time being it’s Lesko’s fiefdom to lose. I probably guess the Dem. nomination goes to Muscato, as he’s the only one of the 3 Dems really campaigning.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Muscato, Lesko uncontested, Solid Lesko general.
Congressional District 9
Home stretch everyone! 1 more district before we fawn over Mark Kelly.
Greg Stanton ($615.8K COH) is the incumbent Democrat in the district. A former Mayor of Phoenix, Stanton was initially considering what is now Sinema’s Senate seat (the two aren’t on the best of terms) before national Democrats persuaded him to instead contest the Congressional seat Sinema had vacated. Stanton easily defeated radiologist Steve “Welfare recipients are like starving pets” Ferrara in 2018, and mostly dissuaded the GOP from fielding a serious candidate this year.
Stanton is facing a primary from the left from “science activist” and quasi-perennial candidate Talia Fuentes-Wolfe (no reports filed). Fuentes ran against Stanton in 2018 (after being the Dem. nominee in CD5 in 2016), but was removed from the ballot over signature validity issues – per friends of mine on the Stanton campaign, massive amounts looked like they were written in the exact same handwriting.
Stanton could be vulnerable to a legitimate challenge from the left (someone like State Rep. Athena Salman or State Sen. Juan Mendez), but Fuentes poses no significant opposition. If she is not removed again for signature validity issues or legal issues with her campaign finance reports that the Stanton campaign offered to ignore in 2018 (that would have led to criminal penalties for Fuentes and her treasurer), she doesn’t have much of a base of support in the district (hell, her website hasn’t been updated since 2018). Talia’s been prone to what I will diplomatically call “eccentric outbursts” at local activists and volunteers (some as young as college sophomores) and hasn’t made many friends in the area. I will leave specific interactions out of this post to avoid dunking on her too much, but feel free to PM me for details.
On the Republican side, 2016 nominee and 2018 candidate Dave Giles ($336 COH) is sticking his head into the meatgrinder again. Giles lost by 20 to Sinema in 2016 and by 27 to Ferrara in the 2018 primary – normally I wouldn’t see him going anywhere again this year. But he has a chance to out-Trump the other two candidates. Pharmacist Nicholas Tutora (no reports filed) is a good equivalent to Ferrara in 2018 – conservative, but not spamming pics of him with Trump everywhere like Giles. He’d be a strong candidate in the primary if he posts a couple good quarters of fundraising, but given that he never filed his Q4 report I doubt things are looking all that rosy for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Huang (no reports filed) is a current Chandler City Councilman also angling to become the CD9 GOP nominee. Huang has by far the best background of the 3 (the only one with political experience) and has both a geographic (Chandler) and demographic (Taiwanese-Americans) base of support, and is probably the most moderate of the 3.
However, both of those advantages are significantly neutered by the layout of CD9. Most of Chandler is in CD5, and the CD9 portion is generally more liberal than the CD5. And while having strong support among the Taiwanese community is a strong plus, it’ll probably be more than cancelled out by the unfortunate racial stigma Asian-Americans are facing during the COVID19 crisis. I would not put it past Giles to racebait about Huang, and I think the GOP primary base here may lap that up.
In the general Stanton could have been slightly spooked by a well-funded Huang campaign, but I just don’t see Huang making it. And even so, the district is simply galloping to the left at too fast of a pace for the GOP to keep up – the one or two candidates who could plausibly do it (Tempe Councilwoman Robin Arredondo-Savage, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee) are off doing their own thing. Arredondo-Savage could pose a threat in 2022 if she decides to run in a redrawn district, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Stanton, Tossup GOP (Huang/Giles). Solid Stanton general.
US Senate
Thanks for staying with me through this post. Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.
Martha McSally ($7.66M COH) is the incumbent Senator, having been appointed by Governor Doug Ducey (R) after Sen. Jon Kyl left the seat in the winter of 2018 (who himself had been appointed when Sen. John McCain passed in September 2018). McSally, as you all know, lost the 2018 Senate election to Kyrsten Sinema, and it raised some eyebrows when Ducey appointed her to this spot. The rumor – which has some validity to it – was that Ducey purposefully selected a weak McSally to fill the seat so that she’d lose in 2020, so that he himself could run for it unimpeded in 2022. Ducey was on track to appoint himself when Kyl was going to leave, but due to a come-from-behind win by State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the Secretary of State race (who’d become Governor if Ducey vacated the seat) his plans were dashed.
McSally is despised by the Kelli Ward bloc of the party, and there was a big hubbub when businessman Daniel McCarthy ($34.9K COH, self-funding $149.6K) filed to run against her last fall. While he has the made the ballot – no small feat – he has yet to really turn on the self-funding spigot. Maybe this will change in the coming months, but for the time being it doesn’t really look like he’s ready to go full bore against McSally. She’s currently on track to easily win the primary, although it’ll be interesting to see – if McCarthy never does go all-in – just how many votes his skeleton candidacy will still win. I’d bet at least 1/3rd of the GOP primary base, to be honest.
McSally’s fundraising has been very impressive, leading all competitive GOP Senators nationally and raising the 6th most among all Senate candidates this year. It is therefore a delicious twist of fate that her sole Democratic opponent – astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly ($13.61M COH) has raised the most among any Senate candidate – challenger or incumbent – this cycle. Yes, that’s more money raised and COH than Mitch McConnell or John Cornyn, who have had since 2015 to fundraise. It’s more COH than McSally and Sen. Thom Tillis (R, NC) COMBINED.
It’s a lot.
Kelly also holds strong support among Democratic base by virtue of his past work with Giffords PAC and his marriage to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt) – beloved by even some Republicans.
McSally has been polling 7-8 points behind Kelly on the RCP average and has been trending ever so slightly downwards since the start of the campaign. The GOP could very well retain this seat in the fall, but polling, fundraising, the national climate, and a non-empty GOP primary are all big thorns in McSally’s side, as well as a fractured base of support (exacerbated by the fact that Kelli Ward is now AZ-GOP chair).
Personally I think Ducey knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed McSally. She’s no longer a rising-star fighter pilot – one of her engines is on fire, she’s taking flak from friendly forces on the ground, and she’s coming in for one hell of a crash landing.
AZ Dems attitude about this race is a simple one. To quote a favorite line of Gabby and Mark’s:
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
hunter15991 Rating: Likely McSally, Kelly uncontested. Leans Kelly general.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this read! I’m going to try to knock out Maricopa County candidates today (and possibly other large counties like Pima) and get to the legislative ones this weekend. Any update due to signature challenges or fundraising reports dropping should come closer to the end of the month.
I’ll be splitting up my “endorsements” (both Dem. and “best-case R”) on each page and then again all at once at the end of this series. They’ll be listed in the comments, for posterity.
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An Overview of Arizona Primary Races - Part 1: Statewide and Congressional Races

(Reposting to take it off of VB)
Welcome back to my omnibus compendium of Arizona’s upcoming primary races in the style of my 2018 summaries (that’s just LDs 21-30, links for 1-20, Congressional, and statewide races are in that post). The primary is set to take place August 4th – early voting ballots should be mailed out on or around July 6th.
Arizona’s a really interesting state (I may be a hair biased), since it not only is home to 2-3 swing House seats and a high-profile Senate race, but also tenuous majorities in both state houses that could – theoretically – neuter Ducey’s trifecta this fall. And counties have their races this year as well, and I’ll highlight some of the fireworks ongoing in Maricopa.
If you’re interested about which district you live in, check https://azredistricting.org/districtlocato. If you want to get involved with your local Democratic party, find your legislative district on the previous link (NOT CD), and then search for your LD’s name at this link. Feel free to attend meetings, they’re a great way to get involved with candidates and like-minded individuals. If you wish to donate to a “clean elections” candidate (mentioned in the post as “clean”), you will have to live in that candidate’s legislative district to give qualifying $5 contributions (check here if anyone needs it in your area), but they are allowed to accept a limited amount of “seed money” from people outside of the district. The three CorpComm candidates can take $5’s statewide.
If you do not want to vote at the polls, you will need to request an early ballot using the website of your county’s recorder prior to July 4th. Example links for Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal. Others available if needed.
Race ratings for listed primaries will be listed as Solid/Likely/Leans/Tossup and are not indicative of my own preference for that seat. I’ll denote my personal primary preferences at the end of this series, as well as the best Republican ticket for the Dems if someone here really really wants to pull a GOP ballot in the primary. I do not advise it, but since I can't stop ya, you'll get my best suggestions.
Write-in candidates have yet to file, which could give us an outside chance at getting some Libertarians on the ballot (the Greens have lost their ballot access).
If you have any questions about voting in the primary, which races are the most contested, and how to get involved with other Democrats in Arizona, feel free to PM me.
All fundraising numbers here are as of 12/31/2019 – although Q1 numbers are dropping within a week or so. I’ll probably post a quick update after signature challenges are done and all Q1 numbers are in the books. Candidates who are partially self-funding have how much they’ve given to themselves listed after their COH as an indicator of how much of their own cash they’re pouring into the race. Not all of it, obviously, is still on hand.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN SOLELY IN MY CAPACITY AS A VOTER IN ARIZONA, AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY ORGANIZATIONS I WORK/ED FOR OR AM/WAS A MEMBER OF. THIS POST IS IN NO WAY ENDORSED BY THE ARIZONA DEMOCRATIC PARTY OR ANY SUB-ORGANIZATION THEREOF, OR ANY FILED CANDIDATE.
Statewides
Without further ado, the statewide races! Or more precisely, race. (US Senate is counted as a congressional)
Corporations Commission
I know this is what each and every one of you has been waiting for, the Corporations Commission! (hereafter CorpComm)
Yes, just like Arizona is the only state in the country with an elected mine inspector, it is also only one of 14 which has an elected Public Utilities commission. The AZ Constitution explicitly calls for this because, to quote Wikipedia: “its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials”.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even though the commission is elected, lax-er campaign finance laws permit for public utilities to spend massive amounts of money on pro-utility candidates. The commission then raises utility rates, which means more money going to the utilities, and more money to spend on pro-utility candidates. And so on and so forth. The former chair, Susan Bitter-Smith, was removed due to a corruption complaint in 2017.
Therefore, corruption by the utilities is a big issue in this race, as well as how much to focus on renewable energy policies. An interesting side-effect is that far more candidates for CorpComm are signing up for public funding, which locks them into some pretty strict rules (thanks to the GOP legislature and voters in 2018).
The commission is a five member board, staggered so that three seats are up in presidential years, and two are up in midterm elections. Because of this, incumbents Sandra Kennedy (D) and Justin Olson (R) are safe until 2022.
Moderate Republican Bob Burns did not file run for re-election (he was kinda pro-solar and viciously anti-corruption, I’ll miss the guy), while definitely-not-moderate Andy Tobin was tapped by Ducey to lead the Department of Administration (HR, procurement, accounting, etc. for state agencies and replaced by 2018 AZ-02 GOP nominee Lea Marquez Peterson ($7K COH, clean – hereafter LMP). Boyd Dunn ($39.5K COH) is the one Republican elected in 2016 who is trying to return for another term.
LMP’s decision to run clean – instead of “traditional” (not taking public funds) – is quite odd for established GOP candidates. This could be a sign of changing voter attitudes, pointing to corruption being a larger and larger issue for both GOP and Dem. voters.
There are three Dems running for the three seats. Former commissioner and 2016 and 2018 CorpComm nominee Bill Mundell ($10.6K COH, clean), teacher and education activist Shea Stanfield ($4.7K COH, clean), and Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar ($1.8K COH, clean). All 3 progress automatically to the general election. Tovar in particular is a big get for Dems – she was a former Senate Minority Leader and it’s a great sign that she’s back in the fight and wanting to run statewides
I’d be remiss if I didn’t quickly touch on my dislike of Mundell – the 2018 CorpComm primary was very contentious due to Mundell persuading his runningmate Sandra Kennedy (and not the other way around, as I had wrongly assumed back then) to going very negative against the other Democrat in the race, Kiana Sears. Mundell lost that primary to Sears and Kennedy (2 seats were up then), but his attack campaign was strong enough that Kennedy and Sears were driven from being pleasant acquaintances (both being liberal black women in utility-related politics) to not being on speaking terms. Sears lost that race – it’s anyone’s guess how much of that was due to the ugly primary. The uncontested nature here should help Dems somewhat from cannibalizing one of their own.
On the Republican challenger’s side there are quite a few candidates. Outside of Dunn and LMP, former legislator David Farnsworth ($6.7K COH) is the chief candidate, and seems set to come into this race with a decent amount of legislative connections and backing. But Kim Owens ($2.5K COH) has stronger experience claims – having spent 3 terms on the Salt River Project Council (basically a mini CorpComm), as well as 5 terms on a school board. The SRP connections come at a cost though, as they don’t play well in this political climate. And despite being endorsed by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ, CD8), Owens has been taking some flack from further-right organizations for her past work on the George Bush and John Kasich presidential campaigns.
Other candidates in the Republican race include 2018 failed candidate Eric Sloan - who is making a visible outreach to the Trumpier side of the party and is running in opposition to clean energy mandates ($3.5K COH, clean) and Nick Myers ($1.7K, clean), who ran for HD12 in 2018 on a platform of banning all public schools. It’s again noteworthy that Sloan and Myers – who both eschewed clean funding in 2018 (and as far I can remember one of the two had strong negative words about the program) – are now running clean. Neither is favored in the primary but Sloan could theoretically muscle himself into 3rd place with enough pro-Trump rhetoric.
The general will probably see both groups of candidates more or less match the generic ballot statewide, but the campaign finance rules in Arizona could play an interesting role. Democrats will naturally be at a disadvantage due to locking themselves into rather restrictive campaign finance rules (can’t raise over a certain amount, banned from using specific party resources, etc.) - but so will LMP or Sloan/Myers if they win. And while the Democrats will all be operating alone, LMP (or the two oddballs) wont be able to do the same things GOP candidates running traditional can do – both from a stance of political pragmatism and of legality. That could lead to some disjointedness that the GOP definitely doesn’t want.
The two sides are evenly matched in terms of candidate quality – LMP and Tovar, Dunn and Mundell, and Stanfield and Farnsworth are all roughly comparable – but this may tilt slightly in the Dems’ favor if one of the other GOP candidates makes it on.
hunter15991 Rating: Dems. unopposed. Solid Dunn, Likely LMP, Leans Farnsworth. Leans GOP general.
Congressional Races
Ok, you've had your veggies. Time for the fun stuff.
Congressional District 1
CD1 is one of 2-3 districts that the national parties are probably focusing in on for this cycle (R+2, Trump+1, Sinema+4). On the Democratic side, Representative Tom O’Halleran ($918.8K COH) is running for re-election. Originally a Republican legislator, O’Halleran slowly veered left as the state party veered rightwards, and is now on the liberal end of the Blue Dog Democrats.
O’Halleran faces a tougher primary than he’s used to (not a high bar to clear, though) in the form of Flagstaff City Councilwoman Eva Putzova ($15.2K), running strongly to O’Halleran’s left. Putzova’s campaign got off to a bit of a rocky start, and while she’s found her footing she still significantly lags behind O’Halleran in COH and in name recognition outside of Flagstaff. While Flagstaff is the largest and most liberal city in the district, it’s still <10% of the total population of this very rural district. Putzova will be able to close the margins O’Halleran set against a similar further-left candidate in 2016, but O’Halleran’s strong connections with the indigenous communities that make up 25% of the district’s population (and therefore close to 50% of the Dem. voting base there) should put him over the line in August. A 3rd big name Dem., former State Senator Barb McGuire, has filed to run for her old Senate seat in SD8 instead and dropped out from the AZ-01 race.
On the Republican side it’s an absolute recruiting nightmare, even worse so than in 2018 when outsider perennial candidate Wendy Rogers beat out theocratic legislative superstar Steve Smith. The current frontrunner for this race is Tiffany Shedd ($112.3K COH), a farmer and shotgun coach who took a distant last place in the GOP primary here in 2018. I’ve linked not to her website but to her announcement video, where she gives the lamest voice-over possible, throws out countless trite references to how horrible it is that “a 29 year-old girl from New York is telling us what to do at the border” (whoever could that possibly be?), and insinuates (but never says) that she once shot at a band of men approaching her farm. It’s worth watching.
I should add at this point that while her video goes on and on with immigrant race-baiting and references to “the wall”, no part of AZ-01 is even in the same county as the US-Mexico border. These are tactics 2018 nominee Wendy Rogers (more on her in the legislative section) loved to use, and she lost to O’Halleran.
Shedd snagged the endorsements of people like Kevin McCarthy and Jon Kyl rather early on, dissuading former baseball star Curt Schilling from running and consolidating the active field of candidates around her (which is good, because one guy who bailed on the race – Safford Vice Mayor and former Army paratrooper Chris Taylor - could have been quite dangerous, especially with his Spanish fluency). Shedd is the only Arizonan in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program, listed as “On The Radar” (their lowest tier). The two other Republicans who have qualified for the ballot (pending signatures) are businessman Noel Reidhead ($35.4K COH) and Apache County Supervisor Doyel Shamley (no reports yet filed). Reidhead seems to be a hair more charismatic and professional than Shedd, but stands little chance building anti-establishment cred vs. Shedd, especially taking into account whatever infrastructure she has from her 2018 run. Shamley too could theoretically pose Shedd trouble with his past political experience as a Republican in a very Democratic county (although it’s very polarized, and he lives in the blood-red Mormon area), but he is also quite a conspiracy theorist (all 4 links are worth a read). Shamley also has only ~10.3% buffer on his petition signatures (it’s recommended to aim for at least 25% if not far more) and could be knocked off the ballot by a stiff breeze.
In the general it’s looking like it’ll be O’Halleran vs. Shedd, and without significant GOP backup from IE’s and downballot races it looks like Tom may blow the barn, er, shed doors off this next push by the GOP to oust him. This could shift towards Leans if Shedd posts a good quarter or two of fundraising and ups her digital game.
hunter15991 Rating: Likely O’Halleran, Likely Shedd. Likely O’Halleran general.
Congressional District 2
Moving right along to another GOP mess, CD2. Incumbent Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick ($621.1K COH) was admitted into an alcohol rehab program last fall, which sparked some thoughts that this district may end up being close. Republican candidates however have yet to create any sort of spark in this seat this year (well, outside of one vaguely threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick – upstanding citizen whom we’ll get to in a second).
Kirkpatrick is being primaried by former State Department official Peter Quilter (no reports yet filed). His issues page puts him as roughly rank-and-file with the rest of the party, so I’m a bit curious as to why he filed to run against an ideologically similar incumbent – but that’s his prerogative. Quilter started signature collection rather later and is also in danger of getting bounced off if someone challenges them.
On the GOP side it’s another AZ-01. I’m not even entirely sure who the frontrunner is, it’s that chaotic and stupid. Is it Shay Stautz ($65.6K COH), a rather mild-mannered former university administrator and national security expert, but whose $65.6K warchest includes $60K of his own money and who sits awfully close to falling below the signature line? Is it Brandon Martin ($9.2K), 2018 2nd place finisher and Army vet who seems to lead in the endorsement and signature game, but who has an atrocious burn rate and who has a tendency of insinuating people should shoot the Congresswoman currently representing the seat once held by Gabby Giffords? Is it Joseph Morgan ($4.6K COH), who has a respectable enough background as a newspaper columnist and nonprofit assistant and whom Martin considers his chief rival (judging by his press release claiming Morgan “flip flops on sanctuary cities), but who hasn’t tweeted since October and whose fundraising is abysmal? ($22.2K raised despite filing in February) I guess it isn’t Noran Eric Ruden (no reports filed), who filed late, has little online presence, and in general seems to be doing little campaigning – but with how bizarre the other candidates are Ruden could surprise me.
Whoever Kirkpatrick faces in the general is again going to be limping badly without outside GOP support. And this time the turf isn’t a Trump+1 rural district that’s slowly inching left, it’s a Clinton+5 seat situated in the suburbs of Arizona’s 2nd largest (and decidedly liberal) city. For competent state legislators this’d be a rather tall ask, for the motely crew the GOP have assembled above it’s almost a suicide mission.
The alcohol rehab issue with Kirkpatrick and potential fallout stemming from that is the only reason I don’t currently have this at Solid D. I realize the national and state party will get behind one candidate at some point but I don’t know how they could feasibly pull off this one given they triaged a significantly stronger candidate in 2018 – against a non-incumbent Kirkpatrick – who then lost to Ann by 10 points.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Kirkpatrick, Tossup GOP (Statuz/Morgan/Martin). Likely Kirkpatrick general.
Congressional District 3
Bit of a snoozefest here (thankfully for me since it’s then shorter to write). Incumbent Raul Grijalva ($211.2K) is running for another term, although he may retire after this next term which would set off a lot of drama in the district. He has no primary opposition and faces OIF Marine and current “Executive Protection Agent” (looks like a cross between a security consultant and bodyguard) Daniel Wood (no reports filed). Running in a D+13, Clinton+29 minority-majority district when your issues page consists solely of the words “Immigration - Coming Soon” is a bold plan. It’s also an insanely foolhardy one.
hunter15991 Rating: Uncontested primaries. Solid Grijalva general.
Congressional District 4
For every yin there is a yang, and in CD3’s case it’s its neighbor to the north, CD4. The current incumbent is far-right Congressman Paul Gosar ($222.6K), whose greatest hits need no introduction. I sat in on a conservative club’s meeting on campus and heard that, in his words, a “Justice Democrats Deep State Plant” was going to primary him soon, and to not fall for what she was spreading.
Well, sure as anything, he did get a primary challenger mere hours after that meeting ended, former McSally staffer Anne Marie Ward ($13.3K COH – no relation). Ward’s website points to her wanting to tack slightly closer to the center than Gosar (again, low bar to clear), in an effort to attract the youth back to conservatism. Her issues pages seems to possibly be purposefully vague. While I’d love for Gosar to be replaced someone less likely to fly to the UK to meet neo-Nazis or author resolutions thanking Hungarian autocrats for their leadership, Ward doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere in a hurry 6 months after she announced.
The Democratic side also poses no threat to Gosar. The nominal frontrunner is nurse Delina DiSanto ($13.3K COH), who lost to Dr. David Brill last year and was, coincidentally, the GOP nominee in CO-03 back in 2004. DiSanto’s political metamorphosis doesn’t end there, back in 2018 she hammered Brill for not supporting M4A enough, but her issues page this year seems very dialed down. DiSanto is being challenged by perennial candidate Stu Starky (no reports yet filed – though they should have since he declared in June). Starky is most noticeable for his Hail Mary Senate run against John McCain in 2004 (McCain won by 56 points), as well as multiple House runs in the late 90’s and apparently considered filing for President once. When he filed I saw his social media had a lot of pro-Green Party stuff in the past, but oddly enough his issues page now has a strong focus on deficit reduction of all things, and advocates for a public healthcare option.
Regardless, none of the 3 other candidates in the race can stop Gosar at this point, and I highly doubt any will ever be able to.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Gosar, Likely DiSanto. Solid Gosar general.
Congressional District 5
To quote my 2018 writeup: “I promise the fun stuff comes back soon enough. CD5 is something like CD4, except instead of a rural stretch of mountains filled with rednecks, it’s picturesque rows of suburban mansions filled with Mormons. Freedom Caucus nut and former President of the AZ Senate Andy Biggs ($481.8K COH) is the incumbent, having won the seat in a contentious primary in 2016.”
Yeah, not much has changed here. We’ll see what redistricting brings.
The three Dems vying for the seat are businesswoman/animal rights activist and 2018 nominee Joan Greene ($4.2K COH), teacher Jonathan Ireland (no reports filed) running on a standard Bernie-style platform, and attorney Javier Ramos (refusing to take donations, no filings), who’s running a very weird race and seems to be actively avoiding harping on his legal career.
I was impressed when Greene cracked 40% in 2018. There is no way any of these 3 could crack 50% in this district. Biggs’s only threat is in a primary, which he has escaped.
hunter15991 Rating: Biggs uncontested, Likely Greene. Solid Biggs general.
Congressional District 6
Told y’all the fun stuff was coming.
On paper, CD6 isn’t the most flippy of districts. Incumbent GOP Representative David Schweikert ($278.5K) has held the Democrat running below 40% for three straight elections after taking it from former Tempe mayor Harry Mitchell in the 2010 wave election. The candidate endorsements by azCentral for the 2016 Democratic primary bemoaned the lack of strong candidates, calling the eventual nominee “less unqualified for the job”.
But he had his margin cut to just 10 points in 2018 – a sign of swinging suburbs like Scottsdale – and this seat is one of the early few on the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” list this year.
On the Dems. side, 2018 nominee Anita Malik ($46.2K COH), trying to improve on her 10 point loss in 2018. Malik, in my mind, is not the frontrunner in this primary, although I didn’t think she was last year and got stung. Dr. Hiral Vyas Tipirneni ($911.9K COH) is running for CD6 this time round, after two close elections (1 special, 1 general) in neighboring CD8. Hiral has been ribbed somewhat for this district hop, but I buy her justification – her work and community connections are all in CD6, and despite being registered in CD8 her house is so close to the boundary line that I think a small portion of her backyard is in CD6. Joining Malik and Tipirineni are businesswoman and 2x legislative candidate in the 2000’s Stephanie Rimmer ($67.5K COH, $114.5K self-funded), and businessman/former McCain legislative staffer Karl Gentles ($80.3K COH).
Malik and Tipirneni were great friends during the 2018 election, but they’ve rather soured now that they’re running against each other. While Gentles and Rimmer have strong ability for growth, I believe the race will come down to Malik and Tipirneni, and I think Tipirneni ends up taking the win in that regard. Malik enters the race with decent name rec. and has a decent bloc of progressive supporters and volunteers, but Hiral has a massive fundraising advantage (Malik anecdotally hates calling for donations) – far greater than Dr. Heather Ross’s in 2018 when she lost to Malik. Tipirneni is also quite beloved by the AZ Republic (judging by their glowing endorsement of her in the fall of 2018) – this is bad news for Malik because the Republic’s endorsement of her was seen as what pushed her across the line in the 2018 primary (Ross led narrowly in absentees, and Election Day ballots – the only ones post-endorsement – broke to Malik).
In the general, Hiral has all the ingredients going for her. Schweikert is running under the shadow of a House Ethics investigation, is doing atrociously in fundraising, and would be going up against a well-known campaigning and fundraising machine in the form of Tipirneni. Hiral’s drive can be seen by the fact that her first campaign office was opened in last November, a full 51 weeks before the election (typically they’ve opened around here in the spring or early summer). Downballot Dems. in the area are improving sizably in terms of fundraising, and enthusiasm is high. The seat is R+10, but McSally only one it by 3 in 2018, and that’s far too close for comfort if I’m David Schweikert. A private internal (I plied it out of a GOP friend of mine who works in his legislative office) shows Schweikert up by ~7-8, which when adjusting for the fact internals always slant in the commissioning campaign’s favor points to quite the close race. I can definitely see this race entering tossup category, especially if Tipirneni is the nominee.
I’ll close with another anecdote about just how scared Schweikert is of Hiral from the same staffer friend – news broke to Schweikert of Hiral’s announcement back last spring during a staff meeting in his office. Schweikert, on hearing the news she had filed, turned even more pale than he normally is and left the room in a fluster. My friend said he could hear him yelling after he left.
I hope he does the exact same on November 3rd.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Tipirneni, Schweikert uncontested. Leans Schweikert general.
Congressional District 7
The next two aren’t going to be all that interesting, so due to time constraints I’ll be a hair shallow on them. Incumbent Congressman Ruben Gallego ($859.3K COH) is uncontested on the Democratic side, and faces token GOP opposition in this deep blue district from businessman Josh Barnett ($634.64 COH) and community activist Nina Becker (no reports filed). Neither is particularly far above the signature minimum and if/when Gallego feels cheeky, both could be sued off the ballot.
hunter15991 Rating: Gallego uncontested, Likely Barnett. Solid Gallego general.
Congressional District 8
Once the site of a heated race between Tiprineni and Debbie Lesko ($379.2K COH), the district is on no one’s radar this time around. Lesko faces no GOP opposition in the primary, and the 3 Democratic candidates in the general – former HD22 candidate and businessman Michael Muscato ($14.4K COH), Army veteran Bob Olson ($39K COH, self-funding $50K), and former Litchfield Park City Councilman and City Manager Bob Musselwhite ($844 COH). Olson and Musselwhite ran in past years, with no real success. Musselwhite could theoretically have made a decent enough bid at the nomination either now or in past years, but doesn’t really seem to like campaigning and until recently shied away from his political experience in-district – a bizarre thing to do to say the least.
CD8 has a few intriguing candidates on its Dem. bench – most notably State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman – but for the time being it’s Lesko’s fiefdom to lose. I probably guess the Dem. nomination goes to Muscato, as he’s the only one of the 3 Dems really campaigning.
hunter15991 Rating: Leans Muscato, Lesko uncontested, Solid Lesko general.
Congressional District 9
Home stretch everyone! 1 more district before we fawn over Mark Kelly.
Greg Stanton ($615.8K COH) is the incumbent Democrat in the district. A former Mayor of Phoenix, Stanton was initially considering what is now Sinema’s Senate seat (the two aren’t on the best of terms) before national Democrats persuaded him to instead contest the Congressional seat Sinema had vacated. Stanton easily defeated radiologist Steve “Welfare recipients are like starving pets” Ferrara in 2018, and mostly dissuaded the GOP from fielding a serious candidate this year.
Stanton is facing a primary from the left from “science activist” and quasi-perennial candidate Talia Fuentes-Wolfe (no reports filed). Fuentes ran against Stanton in 2018 (after being the Dem. nominee in CD5 in 2016), but was removed from the ballot over signature validity issues – per friends of mine on the Stanton campaign, massive amounts looked like they were written in the exact same handwriting.
Stanton could be vulnerable to a legitimate challenge from the left (someone like State Rep. Athena Salman or State Sen. Juan Mendez), but Fuentes poses no significant opposition. If she is not removed again for signature validity issues or legal issues with her campaign finance reports that the Stanton campaign offered to ignore in 2018 (that would have led to criminal penalties for Fuentes and her treasurer), she doesn’t have much of a base of support in the district (hell, her website hasn’t been updated since 2018). Talia’s been prone to what I will diplomatically call “eccentric outbursts” at local activists and volunteers (some as young as college sophomores) and hasn’t made many friends in the area. I will leave specific interactions out of this post to avoid dunking on her too much, but feel free to PM me for details.
On the Republican side, 2016 nominee and 2018 candidate Dave Giles ($336 COH) is sticking his head into the meatgrinder again. Giles lost by 20 to Sinema in 2016 and by 27 to Ferrara in the 2018 primary – normally I wouldn’t see him going anywhere again this year. But he has a chance to out-Trump the other two candidates. Pharmacist Nicholas Tutora (no reports filed) is a good equivalent to Ferrara in 2018 – conservative, but not spamming pics of him with Trump everywhere like Giles. He’d be a strong candidate in the primary if he posts a couple good quarters of fundraising, but given that he never filed his Q4 report I doubt things are looking all that rosy for him. Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Huang (no reports filed) is a current Chandler City Councilman also angling to become the CD9 GOP nominee. Huang has by far the best background of the 3 (the only one with political experience) and has both a geographic (Chandler) and demographic (Taiwanese-Americans) base of support, and is probably the most moderate of the 3.
However, both of those advantages are significantly neutered by the layout of CD9. Most of Chandler is in CD5, and the CD9 portion is generally more liberal than the CD5. And while having strong support among the Taiwanese community is a strong plus, it’ll probably be more than cancelled out by the unfortunate racial stigma Asian-Americans are facing during the COVID19 crisis. I would not put it past Giles to racebait about Huang, and I think the GOP primary base here may lap that up.
In the general Stanton could have been slightly spooked by a well-funded Huang campaign, but I just don’t see Huang making it. And even so, the district is simply galloping to the left at too fast of a pace for the GOP to keep up – the one or two candidates who could plausibly do it (Tempe Councilwoman Robin Arredondo-Savage, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee) are off doing their own thing. Arredondo-Savage could pose a threat in 2022 if she decides to run in a redrawn district, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
hunter15991 Rating: Solid Stanton, Tossup GOP (Huang/Giles). Solid Stanton general.
US Senate
Thanks for staying with me through this post. Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.
Martha McSally ($7.66M COH) is the incumbent Senator, having been appointed by Governor Doug Ducey (R) after Sen. Jon Kyl left the seat in the winter of 2018 (who himself had been appointed when Sen. John McCain passed in September 2018). McSally, as you all know, lost the 2018 Senate election to Kyrsten Sinema, and it raised some eyebrows when Ducey appointed her to this spot. The rumor – which has some validity to it – was that Ducey purposefully selected a weak McSally to fill the seat so that she’d lose in 2020, so that he himself could run for it unimpeded in 2022. Ducey was on track to appoint himself when Kyl was going to leave, but due to a come-from-behind win by State Sen. Katie Hobbs (D) in the Secretary of State race (who’d become Governor if Ducey vacated the seat) his plans were dashed.
McSally is despised by the Kelli Ward bloc of the party, and there was a big hubbub when businessman Daniel McCarthy ($34.9K COH, self-funding $149.6K) filed to run against her last fall. While he has the made the ballot – no small feat – he has yet to really turn on the self-funding spigot. Maybe this will change in the coming months, but for the time being it doesn’t really look like he’s ready to go full bore against McSally. She’s currently on track to easily win the primary, although it’ll be interesting to see – if McCarthy never does go all-in – just how many votes his skeleton candidacy will still win. I’d bet at least 1/3rd of the GOP primary base, to be honest.
McSally’s fundraising has been very impressive, leading all competitive GOP Senators nationally and raising the 6th most among all Senate candidates this year. It is therefore a delicious twist of fate that her sole Democratic opponent – astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly ($13.61M COH) has raised the most among any Senate candidate – challenger or incumbent – this cycle. Yes, that’s more money raised and COH than Mitch McConnell or John Cornyn, who have had since 2015 to fundraise. It’s more COH than McSally and Sen. Thom Tillis (R, NC) COMBINED.
It’s a lot.
Kelly also holds strong support among Democratic base by virtue of his past work with Giffords PAC and his marriage to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt) – beloved by even some Republicans.
McSally has been polling 7-8 points behind Kelly on the RCP average and has been trending ever so slightly downwards since the start of the campaign. The GOP could very well retain this seat in the fall, but polling, fundraising, the national climate, and a non-empty GOP primary are all big thorns in McSally’s side, as well as a fractured base of support (exacerbated by the fact that Kelli Ward is now AZ-GOP chair).
Personally I think Ducey knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed McSally. She’s no longer a rising-star fighter pilot – one of her engines is on fire, she’s taking flak from friendly forces on the ground, and she’s coming in for one hell of a crash landing.
AZ Dems attitude about this race is a simple one. To quote a favorite line of Gabby and Mark’s:
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
hunter15991 Rating: Likely McSally, Kelly uncontested. Leans Kelly general.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this read! I’m going to try to knock out Maricopa County candidates today (and possibly other large counties like Pima) and get to the legislative ones this weekend. Any update due to signature challenges or fundraising reports dropping should come closer to the end of the month.
I’ll be splitting up my “endorsements” (both Dem. and “best-case R”) on each page and then again all at once at the end of this series. They’ll be listed in the comments, for posterity.
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CreateYoureReality NFL Analysis and Picks Week 9 (Thursday Night Football)

CreateYoureReality NFL Analysis and Picks Week 9 (Thursday Night Football)
https://preview.redd.it/tojmcpp86yv31.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4532e5ca9d4c232691488897937f33d5eb5c34bd
Tonight we have a divisional match up featuring one of the two undefeated teams left. But first, lets recap Sunday's plays.
Singles: 9-5 (+9.63u) Soooo, it was an OK weekend. we had a good numbers for the system, but we did have an extra 8 losses that were free bets.
Parlay: 2-2 (+0.56u) Again, a plus day, but soooo close to another big one. We were the Jets +7 away from hitting a parlay for 117u. Sucks to miss a big one by one, but it there is always a silver lining, if we are only one away it means we are on target for future hits!
BBDLS: 0-0 (0u) We lost both here, but fortunately they were both free bets.
SBBDLS: 0-1(-0.5u) This is an experiment I am tracking this year. I call it my Super Big Boy Daddy Long Shot because it is a super big parlay card at the Ocean Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. (I am sure they have them all over) It is $5 to win $100,000. They usually give between 17-19 selections and you have to go a perfect 15-15 ATS. The spreads are locked when the cards print and occasionally they cancel a games eligibility because a line has moved too much. Last year in the last 8 weeks of the season I went 11, 11, 14, 13, 12, 14, 14, 14 out of 15. In the last 3 weeks of the season when i went 14-15 I was putting in 32 combinations of cards :P \**This is most likely a losing play long term, but who doesn't love a good underdog story! :D*
Teasers: 0-1 (-3u) This play wasn't posted, but I did post that I made it. It was 3u to win 90u, 10 teams and missed by the Jets +12.5 and Car +10.5

Thursday Night Football

San Francisco @ Arizona (+9.5): Divisional game. SF coming off a smashing of Carolina while Arizona is coming off getting smashed by the Saints. NFL Parody logic dictates we take the underdog, right? The favorite score 50 points last week, the underdog was beat by 20. By the transitive property, SF should smash, right? And that means as an against the public money bettor and following in NFL Parody, we should take AZ!!! Haha. Maybe its as simple as that, but before we decide, lets look into the number. First we can start with the 49ers D. They have 27 sacks (4th) and a 33% pressure rate, good for 1st in the NFL. This has been helping them allow a league-low 224.4 yards per game, and 11 ppg (2nd). They will be facing an AZ offense that is dealing with a few injuries. Both RBs for AZ are out, however they did sign 3 new one's with one being Dolphins big man Kenyan Drake. He will do his best to hop into the AZ system and take on this legit 49er D. Flipping it around we have the 49er offense with a rush offense that is averaging 181 ypg and 4.7 ypc (2nd and 11th) going against a Cards D that gives up an average of 130 on the ground and over 400 ypg overall. The Cards D does have 22 sacks so far this year, but overall they rank a very poor 29th. We could give them some credit because it is a divisional home game, but will that be enough to stop this 49ers machine? For props there are a few I am looking at...maybe there is something I am missing here but Kyler Murray's rush yards are at 29.5. He averages 35 per game and is 5-3 against 29.5. SF is a high pressure team but (and i just checked the rules on this) sacks do not count as negative rushing yards against the quarterback. They also do not count as negative passing yards against the quarterback. In the NFL, sacks are recorded as negative TEAM passing yards. So I can't imagine a 10 yard sack would hurt his numbers. Aside from that, I am going to look for Terrell Suggs and/or Chandler Jones to get to Garoppolo once. It's a divisional primetime game and they are both vets whos total is 0.5 sacks. To top it off, they are both +money. As for the spread, I took SF when the line came out thinking it would move as the game got closer. Yay us!

Singles 55-58-2 (+12.66u)
  • SF -9.5 (2.5u to win 2.3u)
  • Suggs Over 0.5 Sacks (0.5u to win 0.7u)
  • Jones Over 0.5 Sacks (0.5u to win 0.62u)
  • Kyler Murray 29.5 Yards Rushing Over (1u to win 1.13u)
  • Bosa Over 1.5 Sacks (0 to win 4.2u) This is an odds boost on DK. He has only hit that number twice, hence using my free bet on this one. Hoping because it's prime time, he will show up like he did vs. the Browns.
Parlays: 3-5 (+43.98u)
Big Boy Daddy Long Shot 0-6 (-5.19u)
Super Big Boy Daddy Long Shot: 0-3 (-1.5u)
Teasers: 5-12 (-14.18u)
Futures
  • NE, GB, CLE, NYG all to win their Division (0u to win 257.8u) This is a Free bet (last one for DK, it was close to expiring) This is the week this looks good or bad. Either Cleveland start a 7 or 8 game winning streak here, and the Giants get the most important divisional game of the year for them, this bet is toast. haha. The fun sweat begins!
  • I reaaaaally want to put a bet on NE to win the AFC, the Saints to win the NFC but its probably too late to get a good price. There is a small chance if we hit a big parlay or come across a site with good odds and a free bet available, I may parlay the two.

Thanks for reading, good luck to all!!
submitted by CreateYoureReality to CreateYoureReality [link] [comments]

Visiting - KY Derby Watch Locations? Off-Track-Betting?

Visiting Chandler for a long weekend. Interested if finding a great place to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. I saw online that AZ also offers off track betting in some locations, could make the race more interesting. Can anyone offer some suggestions?
Planning on using a ride sharing service, so proximity to Chandler would be best.
submitted by maxchaz to ChandlerAZ [link] [comments]

Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series - Arizona Round 4 - Oct 27, 2019 - Pro Buggy Knightmare-Future (Extended)  Batman v Superman (UltraHD, HDR) $10,000 through a $25 dollar Triple Triple slot machine...4 handpays Operation Find and Catch the Hereford Bull And We Know - YouTube

Arizona Off Track Betting Locations. As mentioned earlier, Arizona is a great place to get out to put down a wager on the races at Turf Paradise or Rillito Park from one of the many OTB locations located throughout the state. Reviews on Off Track Betting in Chandler, AZ - The Ivy, Third Base, Ginger Monkey Gastropub, Hob Nob Sports Grill, BLD Chandler, Teakwoods Tavern & Grill, The Reef 2, Boston's Bar & Grille, Gila River Hotels & Casinos - Wild Horse Pass, O’Kelley’s… Apache Greyhound Park 2551 West Apache Trail Apache Junction, AZ 85220 Tel. No.: +1 480 982-2371. Arizona's Joe Restaurant 417 S. Winchester Road Apache Junction, AZ 85219 The state has one of the largest selection of Off Track Betting bureaus in the country and there are literally dozens to choose from. If you want to play the ponies, you can do so in a variety of locations from sports bars, restaurants and hotels to even bowling alleys. Chandler, AZ 85224. Phone: (480) 782-6283. O'Kelley's Sports Bar . 2120 Off-Track Betting Locations Arizona's OTBs are located in bars and restaurants statewide. ADG is committed to keeping the public informed and will post updated information as it becomes available.

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Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series - Arizona Round 4 - Oct 27, 2019 - Pro Buggy

This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Bringing positive news in the midst of darkness. Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series - Arizona Round 2 - Feb 9th, 2020 - Mod Kart - Duration: 14:32. Live Track Feed 75 views. 14:32. ... Full Uncut Lucas Oil Offroad Pro4 Race at Chandler, AZ 2018 ... Starting the new year off right with High Limit Top Dollar! $100 dollar spins! - Duration: 5:36. Midwest Slotking 195,226 views. 5:36. Hi everyone! It's me, chocoTaco. Welcome to the official channel! Here you can catch game recaps and highlights from some of my latest streams. If you like t...