Poll: Congressional District 5 Republican primary close

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

In the year of Donald Trump just how will experienced politicians in Arizona do against the so-called outsiders?

We're about to learn in Arizona's reliably Republican 5th Congressional District -- which covers large swaths of the East Valley.

A new poll released Monday shows the GOP primary is coming down to the wire.

It has Senate President Andy Biggs leading with 22 percent followed closely by businesswoman and lawyer, Christine Jones at 19.5 percent.

Former Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley is third at 16.8 percent and State Rep. Justin Olson at 14 percent, according to the survey paid for by Arizona First Leadership Foundation.

The GOP-leaning HighGround Public Affairs conducted the survey of likely primary voters last week and has a margin of error of +/- 4.88 percent.

In broad terms, the race includes three candidates with long political resumes against one who's never held public office and doesn't live in the district.

Taken together, Biggs, Stapley and Olson combine for decades of political  experience.

Jones, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2014, has never held elected office and lives in Phoenix -- outside the district she wants to represent.

From the start, Jones has run an anti-establishment campaign against cookie cutter politicians.

Jones, who helped establish internet giant GoDaddy.com, has largely used her own money to pay for her campaign.

On the other hand, Biggs has spent that past 14-years serving in the Arizona State Legislature and has run what can be described as a traditional campaign.

He routinely touts the endorsements of current and former congressmen, state lawmakers mayors, etc.

One of the senate president's commercials features the endorsement of Congressman Matt Salmon, who currently represents the district.

Stapley served 18 years as a Maricopa County supervisor while Olson has been in the Legislature since 2010.

Since the Congressional district leans heavily Republican, it's assumed the winner of this month's primary will go on to win the November general election.

But remember this is an area that appears open to picking outsiders this year.

During state's Presidential Preference Election in March, voters in the district went for Trump -- and by big numbers.

So are voters still feeling the anti-establishment vibe or do they want to hire the candidate with the longer political resume?

We'll find out soon.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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