With the primary wrapped up (in most cases), the general election matchups are set
Last week's primary winnowed the field and set up the candidates for the Nov. 4 general election.
Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey outpaced the other five Republicans in the GOP race for governor, so he'll be facing Democrat Fred DuVal, Libertarian Barry Hess and American Elect nominee John Mealer. Polls are showing a tight race between Ducey and DuVal. (For more on that contest, see "Dead Heat," page 4.)
Former county, state and federal prosecutor Mark Brnovich managed to knock out incumbent Attorney General Tom Horne, who was hamstrung by a series of scandals during his four years in office. Brnovich will face Democrat Felecia Rotellini, who narrowly lost to Horne four years ago.
Horne wasn't the only incumbent Republican to lose on Election Day. Embattled State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal lost to the little-known Diane Douglas, a former Peoria Unified School District governing board member and staunch opponent of the Common Core learning standards. Douglas will face Democrat David Garcia, an associate professor at ASU and the former associate superintendent of public instruction for standards and accountability for the state of Arizona.
Other big matchups this year include:
Arizona Secretary of State: State Sen. Michele Reagan defeated state Rep. Justin Pierce and Wil Cardon to advance to the general election, where she'll face former Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard.
Congressional District 2: Martha McSally captured 69 percent of the vote in her three-way primary against political newcomers Shelley Kais and Chuck Wooten, setting up an expected rematch against incumbent Democratic Congressman Ron Barber. Barber narrowly defeated McSally in 2012 and the close voter-registration numbers in CD2, which is split just about evenly between Republicans, Democrats and independents, is making the race one of the most closely watched in the country.
Congressional District 1: It took almost a week to declare a winner in the GOP primary with House Speaker Andy Tobin maintaining a lead of a few hundred votes over rancher Gary Kiehne to face Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who won election to Congress in 2008, lost in 2010 and won again in 2012. Kirkpatrick announced last week that she would spend $1.7 million on TV ads between now and Election Day; the National Republican Congressional Committee began running attack ads against Kirkpatrick this week.
Legislative District 9 House of Representatives: Legislative District 9, which includes the Catalina Foothills, Casas Adobes area and north-central Tucson, is one of the most competitive districts in the state. It's now represented by Democrat Victoria Steele and Republican Ethan Orr, but Democrats hope to take both seats with the candidacy of Dr. Randy Friese, a trauma doc who was on hand when the victims of the Jan. 8, 2011, mass shootings began to arrive at University Medical Center.
Crossing the Aisle
Barber rolls out more than 100 endorsements from Republicans supporting his reelection effort
Less than 48 hours after the polls closed, U.S. Rep. Ron Barber rolled out this year's version of Republicans for Barber, a group of more than 100 Republicans who said they were crossing party lines to support the incumbent congressman in his reelection effort against Republican Martha McSally.
The group includes many of the same Republicans who supported Barber in his previous campaigns, including former Tucson mayor Bob Walkup, former state lawmaker Pete Hershberger, former Oro Valley mayor Paul Loomis, former Sierra Vista mayor Bob Strain, Sahuarita Town Council member Lynne Skelton and local developer John Wesley Miller.
Loomis said that while he was on the Oro Valley Town Council, he worked with former U.S. representatives Jim Kolbe and Gabby Giffords as well as Barber.
"They were always there when we needed them," Loomis said. "One of the things about Congressman Barber is that he's not a one-subject individual. He looks at everything reasonably and looks at all sides of the issues. He works for everybody."
Geoff Oldfather, the communications manager for Arizona's G&T Cooperatives utility company, said he was supporting Barber because the congressman interceded on behalf of the Cochise County company when the EPA wanted to require new emission standards that would have cost the company millions of dollars. Two years later, according to Oldfather, the utility is close to a solution that "is going to let us continue to operate. We are actually going to have emission levels that are better than what the EPA wanted and we have Congressman Barber in our corner to thank for the opportunity to get that solution going."
"Congressman Barber is someone who is a pragmatist," Oldfather added. "He is a realist. He's compassionate, he's honest, he's ethical, and he's always going to try to find the solution that's best for everybody in his district. He's not an ideologue."
Also crossing party lines to support Barber: Tom Norris, a retired A-10 pilot who flew alongside McSally.
"I had the opportunity to work with Rep. Barber and his very capable staff over the past year on efforts to save the A-10 aircraft from divestment," Norris said. "I am very impressed by Rep. Barber's passion and efforts to build a bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives to save the A-10. I have been a registered Republican for 32 years and have always voted along party lines. Not this election—Rep. Barber is a true leader and gets my vote!"
Team McSally spokesman Patrick Ptak said via email that the group of Republicans supporting Barber shows that "Barber knows he's in trouble. That's why he's frantically trying to make Southern Arizonans forget all the times he did what was best for himself, not us, like when he voted against more funds to secure the border just to please his party."
No Mo' Joe
Another one bites the dust in Supervisor Miller's office
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller dismissed staffer Joseph Cuffari last week.
Cuffari is the third staffer to leave Miller's office this year. Her chief of staff, Jennifer Coyle, and Roxanne Ziegler, a Marana councilwoman, both quit in April.
Cuffari made headlines earlier this year after Miller alleged that fellow Republican Supervisor Ray Carroll was bullying members of her staff. Cuffari said that Carroll had confronted him after Cuffari had made references to Carroll's daughter's tattoo, which he had seen on Facebook. County investigators found no evidence to substantiate charges of bullying.
Miller's former employees have told the Weekly that she is a frequently paranoid boss who is rarely in the office. Miller has feuded with her fellow supervisors and made a number of unsubstantiated charges about violations of open-meeting laws, pay-to-play schemes in development services and missing money in the county's transportation budget.