A Democratic voter advantage and a big-dollar campaign to defeat Joe Ortiz, a Casa Grande Republican, were too much for him to overcome in the Legislative District 8 Senate.
Democrat Barbara McGuire of Kearny held a 918-vote lead when all precincts were counted. McGuire will return to the Legislature after serving in the House from 2007 to 2010.
Ortiz also couldn’t overcome his own party’s reluctance to spend on his campaign. He got zero financial support from a Republican Senate independent expenditure group, which had spread money around to various competitive races.
Democrats hold a 7-point voter registration advantage in Legislative District 8, which straddles Pinal and Gila counties and includes parts of former Legislative Districts 5 and 23, the latter of which leaned Democrat in voter registration, but was represented by Republicans.