Presenting the 2018 Arizona primary results, naming all the big winners and losers.
In an election campaign overshadowed by the passing of Sen. John McCain, Arizona went to the polls on Tuesday to pick nominees for federal and state elections.
2018 Arizona Primary Results: US Senate
2018 Arizona Primary Results: Republican Senate Primary
From the perspective of the Republicans hoping to hold a seat, the Arizona Senate primary went as well as expected. Rep. Martha McSally, currently the congresswoman for Arizona’s 2nd District, easily won the nomination over Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio. McSally’s general election poll numbers test the best against Democratic nominee Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Sinema took care of business in her cakewalk of a primary on Tuesday, facing only token opposition en route to victory. She is at present the representative for Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, setting Arizona up for its first female senator. Her district encompasses parts of Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
McSally won most of Arizona’s counties, including the two most pivotal, Maricopa (Phoenix and suburbs) and Pima (Tucson). The 2nd District represented by Martha McSally includes parts of Tucson as well as the southeastern corner of the state. Kelli Ward, a former state senator, did not carry any counties, while Joe Arpaio, nationally-known border security proponent and former sheriff of Maricopa County, won in Yuma County. Both Ward and Arpaio took up the Donald Trump mantle in this primary, but even if only one of the two ran, McSally claimed a majority vote. For the record, Trump did not come to the aid of a candidate in Arizona, but now backs McSally.
Each of Ward and Arpaio were also controversial figures, depending on who you ask. While McCain was in extremis, Ward commented that his announcing his end of treatment was a political calculation to distract attention from her campaign. The senator passed away later that day. As for Arpaio, “Sheriff Joe” is a known quantity in Arizona for his tough law enforcement stances, but he also found himself under criminal charges for contempt of court. President Trump pardoned Arpaio in 2017, just a month after the verdict. The Republican establishment is no doubt thrilled that McSally won by as much as she did.
2018 Arizona Primary Results: Republican Senate Primary Results
2018 Arizona Primary Results: General Election Outlook
Arizona’s best hopes for a Democratic senator since Dennis DeConcini’s departure exist in the 2018 midterm elections. The Grand Canyon State is traditionally red, and on a federal level, Arizona delivers Republican senators and electoral votes. This year could be different, and while we have Arizona as a slight Democratic lean for now, McSally is close enough to make it a race.
2018 Arizona Primary Results: Arizona Governor
A surprisingly difficult re-election run is on tap for Gov. Doug Ducey (R). He won his primary with little fanfare as expected, and he draws David Garcia (D) in the general election. Ducey was first elected in 2014 to follow Jan Brewer.
The incumbent governor had no trouble beating back a primary challenge from former secretary of state Ken Bennett. He now moves on to face Garcia, a professor who has not previously held political office.
Arizona does elect Democrats to the governor’s office, although you have to go back to Janet Napolitano’s win in 2006 before the last for their party. It’s much less common since Bruce Babbitt left office. Garcia could be the candidate to do it, though sitting governors in this state tend to get re-elected. You have to go back over 50 years to find the last incumbent to be defeated. It’s a charged political climate, however, so anything is possible.
2018 Arizona Primary Results: Democratic Governor Primary Results
2018 Arizona Primary Results: US House
Arizona US House incumbents that sought re-election were renominated on Tuesday. Most ran without primary opposition.
Two seats were notably left open: the 2nd District (McSally) and the 9th (Sinema). Lea Marquez Peterson narrowly won the Republican nomination, while former congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick claimed the Democratic nod. Should Kirkpatrick win, it would be her third time elected to the House after losing re-election once prior and giving up her seat to run for Senate in 2016.
Meanwhile, Steve Ferrara is the Democratic nominee in the 9th District. His Republican opponent will be Greg Stanton.
2018 Arizona Primary Results: Other Notable Results
The most stunning result in Arizona was the breadth of defeat suffered by incumbent Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R). This is the post that’s next-in-line for Arizona’s governorship, as there is no lieutenant governor.
Not only did Reagan lose, she got demolished: Steve Gaynor, her victorious opponent, took 67.3 percent of the vote to Reagan’s 32.7. He will face Katie Hobbs, who ran without opposition, in November.