A race-by-race look at the Arizona electionPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona is deciding a full slate of statewide, congressional and local races, many of which were highly competitive heading in to the final hours of the campaign. The closeness of the contests has been reflected in the bombardment of attack ads over the final weeks as Democratic, Republican and special interest groups have spent large amounts of money in Arizona. Here is a look at the ticket, and what's at stake:
Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal have waged aggressive campaigns that focused heavily on economic, tax and education issues. Ducey touts his experience as a CEO and the state treasurer as reasons why he is the right man for the job. DuVal says Ducey will make the state's budget and economic situation worse by wanting to slash income taxes to zero with no plan to make up for the lost money. The winner will have a big task at hand: The state faces a looming budget deficit that could get worse with the state being on the hook for up to $2.5 billion in court-ordered K-12 education spending.
Despite its reputation as a Republican state, Democrats own a 5-4 advantage in the state's congressional delegation. Republicans badly want that to change Tuesday. They are spending heavily in an attempt to oust Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber, who represent swing districts. The races are expected to go down to the wire. The other race attracting attention is in the Phoenix area between Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Wendy Rogers.
The race to become the top prosecutor in the state is between Democrat Felecia Rotellini and Republican Mark Brnovich. Rotellini nearly won four years ago, while Brnovich defeated the scandal-plagued incumbent in the primary. The race has led to a volley of negative ads as Brnovich labels his opponent lacking criminal prosecution experience and soft on border issues while Rotellini denounces Brnovich as an ideologue more concerned with right-wing politics than the core responsibilities of being Arizona's top cop.
The race to become the state's top education official has been a tumultuous affair. Incumbent John Huppenthal lost the Republican primary after making a series of offensive anonymous blog posts. Members of the Republican establishment then backed the Democratic candidate, David Garcia, after deciding that GOP nominee Diane Douglas was too extreme. She wants to abolish the Common Core education standards. It's anyone's guess how the race will play out. Garcia has trumpeted his experience in the education sector and his GOP support, while Douglas has run a low-key campaign in the apparent hope that voters overlook her controversial stance on Common Core and choose her because she's Republican.
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The race marks a comeback attempt by former Arizona Attorney General and Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard. He is facing Republican lawmaker Michele Reagan, who is backed by Gov. Jan Brewer. By most accounts, Goddard ran a solid campaign and outperformed Reagan during a debate in which she stumbled on several answers.
Should legislators get a pay raise? Should terminally ill patients be able to have access to unapproved, experimental medication? Should the state be able to reject any federal actions that it deems unconstitutional? Those are the questions being decided in three statewide ballot measures. On the local level, Phoenix is deciding an overhaul to its municipal pension fund while Sierra Vista is voting on whether to ban red-light traffic cameras. Maricopa County voters are being asked to fund a $935 million bond to expand the county hospital
There are two open seats on the board that has the important role of regulating utilities. Two candidates from each major party are running for the two spots in a race that has amounted to a clash between the utility and rooftop solar industries. The contest has brought heavy spending from outside groups.
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