Sen. Carlyle Begay, D-Ganado, has overtaken Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai’s lead in the Democratic Senate race in Legislative District 7.
When votes began pouring in, Peshlakai, a Democrat from Cameron, held an 8-point lead, but the latest tally shows that Peshlakai is now down by about 8 percentage points, with early ballots and 31 percent of precincts reporting.
So far, Begay has secured 40.5 percent of the vote, Peshlakai has received 32 percent, while Eric Descheenie remains in third place with 27 percent.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Albert Hale is leading the three-way Democratic primary for two House seats, with 39 percent of the vote.
Jennifer Benally, who has 35 percent, is poised to win the second House spot.
Joshua Lavar Butler is trailing in third place with 24 percent.
The LD7 House race was among the least-expensive legislative races in the state. Butler outspent his opponents, spending almost $16,000 as of Aug. 14, while the other three candidates spent less than $1,000 each.
Begay and Peshlakai each raised more than $25,000 to run for the Senate, but Begay boasted a significant advantage – thanks to roughly $48,000 in independent expenditures that came to support his campaign.
The winners of both the House and Senate Democratic primaries will face no opposition from Republicans in November in this heavily-Democratic district.