Kate Brophy McGee has a commanding lead in the Legislative District 11 House GOP primary, but the race for second place is a bit murkier.
Eric West has a lead of 679 votes over Shawnna Bolick with all precincts reporting and most early ballots counted.
If West’s lead holds, the attention will be on unseating Democrat Eric Meyer in the Nov. 2 general election.
“I definitely want to work with Kate McGee and I think we’ll make a great team at the legislature,” West said.
McGee said the focus will be on putting out a positive and Republican message.
“I think that will resonate with the voters,” she said.
Meyer is running a traditional fundraising campaign, which means he is not limited to a one-time disbursement, and he is already up on his three Republican opponents in the money game.
A Supreme Court ruling earlier this year suspended matching funds for publicly funded candidates.
Meyer spent little during his uncontested primary and now has $70,153 in cash on hand, compared to $15,508 for McGee. West is publicly funded.
The district had been reliably Republican until 2006, when Democrat Mark Desimone won a seat and Meyer won in 2008. He finished 325 votes behind the winner.
The Republicans hold an advantage in the number of registered voters in the district, which is comprised of Paradise Valley and north-central Phoenix, generally between Indian School and Thunderbird roads and 19th Avenue and Scottsdale Road.
Education could become one of the main issues of the general election since Meyer and McGee have strong education credentials.
Meyer sits on the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board, McGee is a former member of the Washington Elementary School District governing board and the Arizona School Facilities Board.
Meyer has said his No. 1 priority is education and that the Legislature has damaged public schools.
McGee favored Proposition 100, the voter-approved state sales-tax increase that goes toward education, public safety and health care.
She said she favored the levy because the Legislature had made significant cuts to education and it is a temporary tax.
McGee also believes that a quality workforce follows quality education. She believes in equitable funding and school choice.
West said spending on K-12 has to be on programs with proven academic achievement and he wants to remove or retrain employees who under-perform and put up for bid the non-educational services such janitorial and food services.