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Arizona voters picking party nominees for Congress

Voters across Arizona are choosing party nominees for the state’s eight congressional districts in Tuesday’s primary.

The most high-profile race is for the potential successor for retiring Republican John Shadegg in the 3rd District, which has drawn 10 Republican primary candidates. Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and Steve Moak, a wealthy businessman, have spent the most money. The crowded field also includes three former state lawmakers and the mayor of Paradise Valley. Phoenix lawyer and businessman Jon Hulburd is the only Democrat running.

The district is Republican-leaning and covers parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale and some rural areas to the north.

Quayle had spent more than $900,000 as of Aug. 4 to try to win the seat, and has since gone on a television ad blitz. But he also stumbled when he was linked as a contributor to a racy website and a campaign mailer showing him and two young girls with the words, “We are going to raise our family here.” Quayle and his wife have no children; the girls were his nieces.

Moak has also poured money into the race, but many look down-ticket for a possible winner from among the former lawmakers, who include former state Sens. Pamela Gorman of Anthem and Jim Waring of Phoenix, and former state Rep. Sam Crump of Anthem.

The 1st, 5th and 8th districts are currently held by Democrats who are considered vulnerable. That’s drawn a field of 18 Republicans vying for the chance to take them on.

In the 1st District, which covers northern and eastern Arizona, Democrat incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick is seeking a second term. She’ll face off against one of the eight Republicans who are trying to win the nomination and one third-party candidate. Two Republicans are considered front-runners, former lawmaker Sydney Hay of Munds Park and political newcomer Paul Gosar, a Flagstaff dentist. Former teacher and current lawyer Bradley Beauchamp of Globe also could draw support.

In the 5th District, which takes in communities east and northeast of Phoenix from Tempe and Scottsdale to Camp Creek, Democrat Harry Mitchell is seeking a third term in office. Six Republicans are running for the chance to face him in November, along with two third-party candidates.

The most visible Republican primary battle is a repeat of the 2008 primary and pits Susan Bitter Smith against David Schweikert, who won and then lost in the general election to Mitchell.

Four Republicans are making bids to prevent Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from earning a third term representing the 8th District, which extends from the suburbs northwest of Tucson to the New Mexico state line, the Mexican border and east of Nogales.

Former state Sen. Jonathan Paton of Tucson is leading the GOP field. Jesse Kelly, a project manager with a construction company in Tucson, is also considered in contention.

In other districts:

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva is seeking re-election in the 7th district, which runs from Yuma to Tucson and is dominated by Democrats. Five Republicans are vying for the chance to challenge him.

Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor is running again for the 4th District, which includes central Phoenix and some close-in suburbs. Two Republicans are facing off in the primary for a chance to take him on.

Democratic challenger John Thrasher takes on Rep. Trent Franks in a repeat of the 2nd District’s 2008 race. Franks has one opponent in the primary.

Republican Rep. Jeff Flake is seeking re-election in the 6th District, which includes Mesa and Chandler, against an underfunded Republican challenger. Democrat Rebecca Schneider will run against him in the general election.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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