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Republicans win House seats in Dem leaning rural district

Rep. Frank Pratt, R-23

By a slim margin, Republicans won two House seats of the Democrat leaning Legislative District 8, where there was an infusion of cash from independent expenditure groups to reclaim the district.

Frank Pratt, the Republican incumbent, and Republican Thomas Shope took the top two spots with 28 and 25 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting, knocking off Democrat Ernest Bustamante and  Emily Verdugo, who finished with 24 and 23 percent respectively.

Democratic independent expenditure groups put in $39,015 against each of the Republican candidates to take the district.

The district covers parts of Pinal and Gila counties, including Globe, Florence, Casa Grande and Oracle, as well as parts of former Legislative Districts 5 and 23, the latter of which had a five-point Democratic edge.

But Republicans won both seats in the former LD 23 in 2010 and Gov. Jan Brewer also carried the day in the district  U.S. Sen. John McCain got the majority of votes over President Obama in the 2008 presidential election.  Democrats have a seven-point advantage in the most recent registration count of the newly drawn LD8.


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