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Who’s hot, who’s not: A year of ups and downs for Arizona politicos (access required)

Who’s hot, who’s not: A year of ups and downs for Arizona politicos <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

As 2012 comes to a close, some Arizona politicos have reached new heights of prominence and power. Others saw once-promising careers hit the wall.

Jeff Flake and Kyrsten Sinema gained influence and stature in the nation’s capital, while Andy Biggs reached the pinnacle of power in the Arizona Senate.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Russell Pearce and his successor, Sen. Steve Pierce, fell from grace, while a slew of Republican candidates once again failed in their bids to reach the halls of Congress.

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Kelly’s future uncertain (access required)

Perhaps the biggest Republican victor last night was Martha McSally, considering that Kelly has now lost twice in CD8 and expressed uncertainty last night about whether he will stay on the ballot for the new Dem-leaning CD2. He told supporters last night that “only God knows” what his future holds and that, while he “most likely” will run in the new district, he would take a few days to consider his options.

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Special election today to pick Giffords’ replacement

Democrats are hoping that late campaign appearances by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will help push her hand-picked successor to victory in a special congressional election in Arizona.

Republicans, trying to make the southern Arizona House race a referendum on President Barack Obama and his handling of the economy, are running a former Marine who narrowly lost to Giffords two years ago.

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Kelly scored knockout punches in first round

It was pretty clear that Kelly buttoned up yesterday’s primary as soon as the first results were made public, but the breakdown of the vote tells a more nuanced story. Early ballots have become a key for successful campaigns, and yesterday’s numbers show just how difficult it can be to mount a come-from-behind victory in the era of early voting.

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