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Incumbents vs. incumbents likely as legislative districts shape up

District 1: The southeastern Arizona district, which includes most of Cochise County and portions of Gila and Pima counties, puts six GOP incumbents into the same heavily Republican district. In the Senate, Frank Antenori and Gail Griffin would face each other in the primary, while Reps. Brenda Barton, David Gowan, Peggy Judd and David Stevens would have to square off for the district’s two House seats. However, Antenori and Judd have already said they may be willing to step aside or run for another office, so the Republicans might be able to avoid an ugly intra-party fight. Antenori was hopeful that either the IRC or the courts would change the district lines.

District 4: The district, which forms a triangle between south Yuma, west Tucson and western Maricopa County with the Tohono O’odham reservation in the middle, includes all three incumbents from the Yuma-based LD24 — Rep. Russ Jones and Sen. Don Shooter, both Republicans, and Rep. Lynn Pancrazi, a Democrat. But the new district, a majority-minority district in which Hispanics make up nearly 54 percent of the electorate and Native Americans comprise an additional 5 percent, leans Democratic, meaning Jones and especially Shooter, a vocal proponent of tough-on-illegal- immigration measures, may have a tough time if they don’t move into the neighboring GOP-friendly district, which starts just blocks away from their houses.

District 6: Flagstaff Mayor Sara Presler lobbied repeatedly for the IRC to put her city into a competitive district, and she more or less got her wish. Voters in the misshapen district, which one Republican referred to as a “dog-leg left,” cast Republican ballots 55.5 percent of the time. It also includes incumbents from both parties. Democratic Rep. Tom Chabin, from the liberal bastion of Flagstaff, would be running in the same district as conservative Republican stalwarts, Rep. Chester Crandell and Sen. Sylvia Allen.

The map below shows the IRC’s adopted draft legislative map. The districts are color-coded by competitiveness, measured against 2008/2010 election results. Pink dots signify incumbent senators. Yellow dots signify incumbent house members.

District 12: The East Valley district, which runs from Gilbert to Queen Creek, features three incumbent Republican House members — Reps. Eddie Farnsworth, Tom Forese and Steve Urie.

Districts 15 and 22: Incumbent Republican Sens. Nancy Barto and Lori Klein were both drawn into this north-Phoenix district. Klein’s Anthem home is right on the edge of the line, which could change once the IRC finishes its 30-day round of public hearings. But the neighboring District 22 already includes incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Bundgaard, as well as Republican Rep. Judy Burges, who is expected to run for the Senate seat, even if she has to challenge Bundgaard for the nomination, so Klein can expect a primary either way. Both districts have strong Republican advantages.

Districts 19 and 29: Both of these West Valley districts lumped Republican incumbents into heavily Democratic districts with strong Hispanic majorities. In District 19, Republican Rep. Steve Montenegro would have to defend his seat against incumbent Democratic Reps. Richard Miranda and Anna Tovar. And in District 29, Republican Rep. Jerry Weiers said he’ll likely move to a new district. If the termed-out Weiers wants to move to the Senate in his current district, he’ll have to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Steve Gallardo.

District 24: The district is arguably the most oddly shaped on the map, starting in the Democratic stronghold of central Phoenix and running east along McDowell Road to include the Fort McDowell and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian communities. The district is home to three incumbent Democrats – Reps. Lela Alston, Chad Campbell and Katie Hobbs – making it one of the few districts where Democrats face a possible primary among incumbents. But Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has strongly hinted at a run for Congress, which would open up the Senate seat for one or more of the three House members.

District 25: The conservative Mesa-based district is one of two that lumped in six Republican incumbents, and could feature the most-watched legislative primary of the 2012 cycle. Senate President Russell Pearce, the Tea Party firebrand who made international headlines with his anti-illegal immigration legislation, and Sen. Rich Crandall, a more moderate Republican, could face off, if Pearce survives his Nov. 8 recall election. Even if Pearce loses in the recall, he’s widely expected to run against Crandall for his old seat. Incumbent Reps. Cecil Ash, Steve Court, Justin Olson and Justin Pierce would also have to square off for the district’s two House seats.

District 28: The district, which includes the Arcadia and Biltmore neighborhoods of Phoenix, part of north Phoenix and Paradise Valley, has two incumbent Republican House members and one incumbent Democrat. The Democrats ran incumbent Eric Meyer as a single-shot candidate in the past two elections, but to defend the seat he’d have to oust either Reps. Kate Brophy McGee or Amanda Reeve.

— Jeremy Duda

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