One year away from primary election day, race for US Senate in Arizona heats up

Published: Aug. 6, 2023 at 9:23 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - We are exactly one year out from primary Election Day 2024 in Arizona, and campaign season is already underway. Five-term Phoenix-area Congressman Ruben Gallego hosted a town hall Sunday in Buckeye in hopes of winning over voters in his bid for Senate. The filing deadline for candidates is April of next year.

“It’s important to get your message out early, and at the end of the day, the hard work I do now will make it easier later,” said Rep. Gallego.

Democrat-turned-independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema will remain in office until January 2025. We reached out to her team and asked if she plans to seek another term. All they would tell Arizona’s Family is that she is working and meeting with the people of Arizona and “not engaging in campaign politics.”

Republican Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb announced his campaign a few months ago. “I’m hoping for a senator that can work together with all parties whether you’re a Republican, Independent, or Democrat,” said Janneen Lambert, who attended the town hall event.

Democrats in attendance, like Lambert, are on board with campaign season starting early. “I think the earlier, the better,” she said. “I think that all candidates from whatever party should get out there with their message because, especially myself as a voter, I want to know about the candidate and understand their background and understand what their platforms are.”

Long-time Phoenix lawyer Quacy Smith, who was at the town hall, agrees, as he aims to become a congressman in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District. He’ll be up against incumbent Republican Paul Gosar. “It’s critical because you have to galvanize the votes now. You have to get the people aware about what the issues really are and sort through things because as you go deeper down the hole toward the election itself, the more muddy things get, you know, and it’s oftentimes it’s really hard to hear the candidates for what they really want to bring, what they really want to do when they get to Washington,” said Smith.

Arizona voters will elect one senator in November 2024, and it’s expected to be a competitive race. “Everyone get out and vote regardless of your party. Vote for the best candidate,” said Lambert.

Rep. Gallego said he plans to meet with President Joe Biden while he’s in Arizona this week to discuss his “Extreme Heat Emergency Act” which would add extreme heat to FEMA’s list of major disasters that receive federal assistance.

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