Arizona voters decide full slate of races

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- After months of debates, negative TV ads and aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts, Arizonans have weighed in on a full slate of statewide, congressional and local races. Republicans were the big winners in statewide contests, while Democrats were hoping to pull off wins in tight congressional battles. The following is a look at how the vote played out:


Republican Doug Ducey trounced Democrat Fred DuVal after a campaign in which he touted his experience as a CEO and state treasurer as reasons why he was the right man for the job. In the end, DuVal acknowledged that he could not overcome the barrage of spending by outside groups that backed Ducey. The winner now has a big task at hand: Arizona 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.


It's a deja vu situation for the state's top congressional matchups. In 2012, Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber did not know on election night whether they had prevailed in their swing districts. The same happened Tuesday. At one point, Barber was trailing by 36 votes to Republican Martha McSally in their Tucson-area district. Kirkpatrick had a bigger advantage over Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin, but it was too close to call. Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema easily won re-election. Democrats hold a 5-4 advantage in the state's congressional delegation.


Republican Mark Brnovich defeated Democrat Felecia Rotellini, two months after he took out the incumbent in the GOP primary. Brnovich was the beneficiary of huge spending by the Republican Governors Association. The two feuded over their backgrounds as former prosecutors and which was best qualified to be Arizona's top law enforcement officer.


The race to become Arizona's top education official was the one statewide race that was undecided as of Wednesday morning. Republican Diane Douglas had a narrow lead over Democrat David Garcia. The centerpiece of her campaign was to abolish the Common Core education standards, causing her to lose the support of traditional GOP groups. But on a good night for Republicans and an anti-Obama administration wave sweeping the country, Douglas was picking up strong support.


Former Arizona Attorney General and Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard saw his comeback attempt came up short to Republican lawmaker Michele Reagan. The secretary of state oversees elections and is next-in-line for the governor's office.


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? Voters said no to a pay raise and yes to letting patients get experimental drugs. The question of federal overreach was too close to call. They were the three statewide ballot measures.


Two Republicans swept in to office on the board that has the important role of regulating utilities, pipelines and railroads, among other duties. The race represented a clash between the utility and rooftop solar industries. The Republicans were backed by the utilities, while the Democrats had backing from the solar industry.