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Boyer, Seel win northwest Phoenix Republican primary

Paul Boyer

An incumbent and a former legislative staffer won Tuesday in a three-way race in the Legislative District 20 Republican primary.

Rep. Carl Seel of Phoenix and Paul Boyer of Phoenix, former House majority spokesman, will face off against Democrats Tonya Norwood and former Rep. Jackie Thrasher in the Nov. 6 general election. Boyer ran away with the win, getting 49 percent of the vote to Seel’s 36 percent.

Republican George Benavides, also of Phoenix, had 15 percent of the vote after all polls reported.

The district includes parts of Phoenix and Glendale and is made up of portions of former LD6, LD7 and LD9, all GOP strongholds. Republicans have 38 percent to 28 percent edge in registered voters in the new district.

The district will effectively be represented by new lawmakers, since Seel was the only incumbent and only a small portion of his former District 6 is now part of the whole.

Boyer won the funding battle and was also the recipient of $13,000 in funds from independent expenditure groups while Seel was limited with public funding. Benavides got $12,688 from groups, but he was also the target of almost $3,000 in opposition funding from the Arizona Business Coalition and his total fundraising as of Aug. 24 was just $2,048.

Seel, who was elected in a squeaker in former Legislative District 6 in 2010, got off to a slow start this year by not qualifying for his public funding until Aug. 2, the day early voting began. Seel said he had trouble collecting $5 contributions because of the uncertainty of the redistricting and the economy.

Boyer, who is now the spokesman for Mesa Unified School District, said the difference in the campaign, though, was his personal touch of knocking on many doors and returning all phone calls he got from voters.

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