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Home / Election 2014 / 2014 Legislative Races / Carter leads while Allen, Burnell Smith fight for second seat

Carter leads while Allen, Burnell Smith fight for second seat

Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, debates an amendment to House Bill 2291, an expansion for Arizona's school-voucher program, before members vote on the measure at the Arizona Capitol on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Phoenix. Key Republicans, including Carter, joined Democrats to vote down House Bill 2291, which would have made another 100,000 to 120,000 low-income students eligible for the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program. (Photo by Ross D. Franklin, AP)

Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek. (Photo by Ross D. Franklin, AP)

Despite being one of the top targets of conservative Republicans for her role pushing Medicaid expansion through the House, Republican Rep. Heather Carter of Cave Creek coasted to an easy victory in Legislative District 15.

Her seatmate, Rep. John Allen, is nearly tied for the district’s second House seat with former Republican lawmaker David Burnell Smith. With early ballots counted, Carter has 38.2 percent of the vote, while Allen and Burnell Smith each have 30.7 percent each.

Although Allen is leading Burnell Smith by nine votes, the margin is so close it will force an automatic recount in the race if additional late votes do not increase the difference between the two. Recounts are required in legislative races won by less than 50 votes.

Carter was one of the top fundraisers in legislative races, having spent more than $165,000 in her campaign as of Aug. 14. She received more than $38,000 in outside spending on her behalf and was attacked with almost $8,000 in outside spending. Allen spent just under $19,000 and had no outside spending for or against him. Burnell Smith spent just over $4,000 in his race, and had no outside spending for or against him.

Republican Sen. Nancy Barto appears likely to retain her seat against challenger David Ryan of Phoenix. First reports from the Secretary of State show Barto with 62 percent of the vote, while Ryan garnered only 38 percent so far.

No Democrats ran for office in the district, which is heavily Republican and spans the northern portion of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

No Democrats ran for office in the district, which is heavily Republican and spans the northern portion of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

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