In the Works

Rumors, notes and half-truths regarding this year's legislative elections

After Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission wrapped up the work of drawing new boundaries for the state's 30 legislative districts, lawmakers started scrambling.

Here's a quick look at how the new map affects Southern Arizona—and how the plans of the Southern Arizona delegation are shaking out.

Legislative District 2: This area includes parts of what's now LD 29 on Tucson's south and southeast side, sans downtown Tucson. It includes South Tucson and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and snakes down Interstate 10 and the Santa Cruz River to take in Green Valley, Sahuarita and Nogales. More than 60 percent of the population is Hispanic, and the district should be an easy win for Democrats, who lead Republicans in voter registration by 17 percent.

Democrat Sen. Linda Lopez is hoping to remain in her Senate seat without a fight, but it appears there's a Democratic primary brewing in the House: Rep. Daniel Patterson wants to run in the district, which he says is a perfect fit for his ecology background; Andrea Dalessandro, who unsuccessfully sought a House seat in 2008 and 2010, now finds herself in the heavily Democratic district; and Salomon Baldenegro Jr. wants to make his political debut.

Current LD 29 Rep. Matt Heinz is toying with the idea of a run for the new Congressional District 2, should Rep. Gabrielle Giffords not run for re-election.

All the candidates so far are from the small Pima County portion of the district, and Santa Cruz County Democratic Party officials say their chances of fielding a candidate are slim. One of their former top prospects, ex-Nogales Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel, is currently serving a 3 1/2-year prison term for bribery.

Legislative District 3: About half of the people old enough to vote in this downtown and westside district are Hispanic, and Democrats hold a solid 32-point voter-registration advantage in the district that is largely the former LD 27.

Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, who has represented the area since 2003, announced that she's moving into an old house in the district, since her current residence ended up on the wrong side of the line with the new Republican-leaning LD 11, leaving her—as she put it—"screwed."

LD 27 Reps. Macario Saldate and Sally Ann Gonzales are planning House runs. Although both ran impressive campaigns through a crowded primary to win their seats in 2010, hot westside politics have bred many Democratic challengers in recent years.

Legislative District 4: Democrats hold a 15-point advantage in this solidly blue district, which reaches into Tucson on the southwest side, but mainly stretches west across the Tohono O'odham reservation and into the southern half of Yuma. The residents are 60 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Native American.

State Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, a Yuma Democrat, is a likely candidate for the House or Senate. Pima County Democrats say they're still recruiting candidates for the race.

Legislative District 9: This metro district includes northern Tucson, the Catalina foothills and the Casas Adobes area, but stretches as far south as Speedway Boulevard between Campbell Avenue and Craycroft Road. While Democrats hold a voter-registration advantage of about 4 percent, it's considered one of the state's competitive districts.

LD 28 incumbent Rep. Steve Farley is running for the Senate seat on the Democratic side. Mohur Sidhwa, who aimed for a House seat in 2010, is oiling up her campaign machinery, as is newcomer Victoria Steele, a former TV and radio reporter.

Republican Rep. Terri Proud of the current LD 26 lives in this district, but rumor has it that she will not seek re-election, and will instead pursue other opportunities, while Republican Rep. Vic Williams is preparing a run for the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Democratic Sen. Paula Aboud also lives in the district, but she's reached her term limit and, like Heinz, is weighing a run in Congressional District 2, should Giffords step down.

Legislative District 10: Composed of the Tucson area east of downtown and mainly south of Speedway, LD 10 has roughly 3 percent more Democrats than Republicans and is considered another of the state's few "competitive" districts.

On the Democratic side, former state lawmaker Dave Bradley is planning a run for the Senate, while current LD 28 Rep. Bruce Wheeler is planning on staying in the House. An open seat will likely lure aspiring Democrats.

Current LD 30 GOP Sen. Frank Antenori and Rep. Ted Vogt also ended up in LD 10. Despite the voter-registration disadvantage, Vogt is planning to run for the House seat. Antenori is setting his sights on a run for the new CD 2 seat, setting up an exploratory campaign while waiting to see if Giffords will run.

Legislative District 11: Republicans have an 11-point voter-registration lead in this Pima and Pinal county district, which includes Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke, the city of Maricopa and part of Casa Grande.

Both LD 26 Sen. Al Melvin of SaddleBrooke and Sen. Steve Smith of Maricopa got drawn into the district, and Melvin has said he won't step down to the House. We'll see whether Smith decides he wants to run against Melvin in a primary, or move down to one of the two open seats in the House of Representatives. Republican Adam Kwasman, who has already landed the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is running for one of those House seats.

Although Dems are outnumbered in the district, Democrat Jo Holt is getting a Senate campaign off the ground.

Legislative District 14: This largely rural district covers the southeast corner of the state, including all of Cochise and Greenlee counties, most of Graham County, and a sliver of the east side of Pima County, including Vail, Summerhaven and the eastern edge of Tucson's city limits. Republicans have a nearly 10-point voter-registration advantage in the district, which consolidates big parts of the current LDs 25 and 30.

LD 25 Sen. Gail Griffin is looking to keep her title, while LD 25 Rep. David Stevens and LD 30 Rep. David Gowan will try to hang on to the remaining House seats.

As we mentioned above, LD 30 Sen. Frank Antenori is considering a congressional run, and LD 30 Rep. Ted Vogt has been drawn into Democratic leaning LD 10. After one term in office, current LD 25 Rep. Peggy Judd is ready to ditch the Legislature for a run at the Cochise County Board of Supervisors.