Arizona polls close; awaiting first results

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Mid-term elections mean big decisions for Arizona voters. The polls opened at 6 a.m. and remained open until 7 p.m. Results are expected to start coming in at 8 p.m.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell says she predicts a 60 percent turnout of voters for a non-presidential election.

Some 860,000 early ballots were mailed to voters. Purcell says 500,000 ballots have already been returned to election officials.

If you're not sure where to vote, the County Recorder's Web site can help as well as a voter information call center 602-506-1511.

AZ congressional majority up for grabs on Tuesday

Voters could change the balance of Arizona's congressional delegation from heavily Democratic to majority Republican on Tuesday.

Republicans now hold just three of eight seats in Arizona. Only the 3rd District, where Republican John Shadegg is retiring, is a close race. Republican Ben Quayle is trying to beat back Democratic challenger Jon Hulburd.

Meanwhile, four of five Democratic incumbents face strong challenges. They include Rep. Raul Grijalva in southern Arizona's 7th District, Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st District, Harry Mitchell in the 5th District and Gabrielle Giffords in the 8th District.

Only Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor in the 4th District is facing a weak challenger.

AG's race between Horne, Rotellini winds down

The brutal race for Arizona attorney general winds to a close Tuesday when voters decide whether to pick Republican Tom Horne or Democrat Felecia Rotellini as the state's new top prosecutor.

Both candidates have been tough on each other ever since they squeaked through their party's primaries.

Horne accuses Rotellini of overselling her courtroom experience in her 13 years as an attorney for the attorney general's office.

Rotellini says Horne was trying divert attention from his lack of prosecutorial experience and the revocation of his license to sell securities decades ago.

Kotterman, Huppenthal vie for AZ schools chief job

John Huppenthal and Penny Kotterman both say Arizona's school system needs immediate improvement and they should be the one who gets to fix it.

Voters will decide in Tuesday's general election between Kotterman or Huppenthal for the job of state superintendent of public instruction.

Huppenthal, a state lawmaker since 1993, won the Republican nomination in August. He's chairman of the state Senate Education Committee and claims to be one of Arizona's leading education policy experts and schools reformers for the past 18 years.

Kotterman, the Democratic nominee, spent six years as president of the Arizona Education Association -- the state's largest teachers union -- and currently is director of new programs and policy at the Arizona K-12 Center.

Businessman, ex-prosecutor vie for state treasurer

Andrei Cherny and Doug Ducey come from far different backgrounds, but both insist they are the best man for the job of Arizona treasurer.

Cherny is a former state prosecutor and White House aide. Ducey is a Phoenix businessman and political newcomer.

Ever since winning August's primary election for the Democratic nomination, Cherny has attacked the credibility of his Republican
opponent. Ducey calls Cherny's criticism a sideshow that distorts the issues.

Ducey was the owner and CEO of Cold Stone Creamery from 1995 until selling the ice cream company in 2007.

Cherny claims Ducey isn't fiscally responsible enough to be Arizona's chief financia lofficer and the two have sparred in debates on how to manage the state's nearly $10 billion investment portfolio.

Voters to decide if McCain wins 5th term in Senate

Arizona voters will decide Tuesday whether Republican John McCain will win a fifth Senate term against challenger Democrat Rodney Glassman.

The low-key tone of the general election leg of McCain's re-election campaign stands in contrast to the bare-knuckle quality
of his primary race against former six-term congressman J.D. Hayworth.

McCain's campaigning since routing Hayworth has consisted mostly of making appearances on behalf of other candidates, running one statewide TV ad and portraying Glassman as an inexperienced candidate.

Glassman is a 32-year-old former Tucson city councilman who cast himself as an earnest advocate of job creation, public education and alternative energy.

Brewer, Goddard face off in Ariz. governor's race

Republican incumbent Jan Brewer and Democratic challenger Terry Goddard face off Tuesday in the race for Arizona governor.

Brewer is running for a four-year term after being elevated from secretary of state in January 2009 when Democrat Janet Napolitano resigned to become federal Homeland Security secretary.

Goddard is a former Phoenix mayor now finishing his second term as state attorney general. He ran twice unsuccessfully for governor in the 1990s.

Libertarian Barry Hess and Larry Gist of the Green Party also are on the ballot.

Ariz. sec of state faces freshman lawmaker in race

Arizona's current secretary of state and a freshman lawmaker are vying to become the state's next chief elections officer and second in line to the governor.

Republican Ken Bennett was appointed secretary of state when Jan Brewer became governor last year.

Bennett has served eight years in the Legislature and sat on the Prescott City Council and state Board of Education. He says that experience, along with running a business, is unequaled in the race.

Democrat Chris Deschene touts his experience as a former Marine major who has managed large budgets and says he has a record of proven leadership. Deschene was elected to the Legislature in 2008 and has degrees in engineering and law.

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