Arizona failed to turn blue in the presidential election, but Democrats picked up at least one seat in the Legislature, and voters ousted the infamous Republican Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Voters approved Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by about 4 percent, and U.S. Sen. John McCain easily defeated U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick with 53 percent of the vote.
In the Arizona Senate, Democrats stand to at least bring the chamber to a 13-17 split, a scenario not seen since 2015, when Sen. Carlyle Begay switched allegiances to the Republican Party. Democratic losses in LD6 and LD8 undid the potential for any significant gains in the Senate, even though they picked up LD18 and still have a shot in LD28.
In any case, Republicans are poised to maintain their Senate majority, though not as commanding as their current advantage, in which the GOP caucus boasts of 18 members.
In the House, Democrats appear poised to pick up one seat, while another contested seat is too close to call, as Republicans came up short in LD2 and LD18. One Democrat in LD10 may end up losing her seat. As things currently stand, the House makeup would be 35-25, with Republicans still holding a solid majority.
A measure to increase the minimum wage passed with an overwhelming majority, while a measure to legalize recreational marijuana was voted down.
Across the state
U.S. Sen. John McCain defeated U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for the state’s Senate seat, getting 53 percent of the vote.
Voters easily approved Proposition 206 with 60 percent voting yes on the measure, which will increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
Proposition 205, which would have legalized recreational marijuana for adults, didn’t fare as well. Approval of the measure lost by about 4 points.
Republican Corporation Commissioners Bob Burns and Andy Tobin were the top vote-getters for the three available commission seats, followed by newcomer Boyd Dunn, also a Republican. Democrat Bill Mundell came in fourth, with Democrat Tom Chabin coming in fifth.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio lost his bid for a seventh term to Paul Penzone after a rough legal year for the sheriff.
Democrats held onto their seat in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District after Tom O’Halleran defeated Republican Paul Babeu.
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally fended off a challenge from Democrat Matt Heinz to keep her seat in CD2.
Incumbent Andrea Dalessandro, D-Green Valley, handily won re-election maintaining a strong lead in the Legislative District 2 Senate race.
After leading in the polls on election night, Democrat Nikki Bagley relinquished her lead over incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Snowflake Republican. Democrats have long tried, but appears to have failed once more to swing the seat in the Republican stronghold of LD6.
Democratic Sen. Barb McGuire has failed to defend her LD8 Senate seat against fellow lawmaker Frank Pratt, a Republican representative from Casa Grande.
Sen. David Bradley, D-Tucson, fought off a challenge from Republican Randall Phelps in southern Arizona’s LD 10. This will be Bradley’s third term in the Senate.
Republican Sen. Steve Smith of Maricopa handily won re-election in LD11, defeating Democrat Ralph Atchue in the district spanning northern Pima County and eastern Pinal County.
Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, completes his bid for the Senate seat in the East Valley’s LD12 by defeating Democrat Elizabeth Brown. He’ll replace outgoing Senate President Andy Biggs, who left for a successful run for Congress.
Sen. Gail Griffin was elected to a fourth and final term as the senator from LD14 in southeastern Arizona by defeating Democrat Jaime Alvarez.
Republican Sen. Nancy Barto easily defeated Democrat Tonya MacBeth in LD15, a part of northern Phoenix metropolitan area.
Sen. David Farnsworth cruised to victory against Democrat Scott Prior. The Mesa Republican will serve the East Valley’s LD16 for a third term.
Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, the likely successor to Senate President Andy Biggs as leader of the chamber and the Republican caucus, defeated Democrat Steve Weichert in LD17.
Democratic newcomer Sean Bowie has a healthy lead over Republican Frank Schmuck in the East Valley’s LD18. Democrats liked their chances in a race for an open seat, an opportunity created by Schmuck’s defeat of incumbent Republican Sen. Jeff Dial in the primary.
Republican Sen. Kimberly Yee of Phoenix easily won re-election in a crowded general election field in LD20, defeating Democrat Larry Herrera and Independent candidate and former state representative Doug Quelland while overcoming a flurry of last-minute spending against her.
Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, crushed her LD22 opponent, Democrat Michael Muscato, who was dogged in the election by questions regarding his residency.
Democrat Sen. Catherine Miranda of Phoenix was elected to a second term as LD27’s senator by defeating Green Party candidate Angel Torres.
In one of the most closely watched legislative races, Republican Rep. Kate Brophy McGee leads Democratic Rep. Eric Meyer in the race for an open Senate seat in LD28.
Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, cruised to victory over Republican Crystal Nuttle in the race for the Senate in the West Valley’s LD29.
Democratic Sen. Robert Meza of of Phoenix was elected to a fourth and final term in LD30 by defeating Republican John Lyon.
A dozen candidates for the state Senate ran unopposed in the general election:
- Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, a Tucson Democrat, will represent LD3 for her fourth and final term.
- Yuma Democrat Lisa Otondo will replace outgoing Sen. Lynne Pancrazi, a fellow Yuma Democrat who left the Senate in a bid for the Yuma County Board of Supervisors.
- Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, emerged from a rough primary battle to assume the Senate seat unopposed in LD5.
- Democrat Jamescita Peshlakai will represent LD7, a district she last served as a representative from 2013 to 2014.
- Sen. Steve Farley, a Tucson Democrat, was elected to a third term in LD9.
- Rep. Steve Montenegro, in a deal negotiated with Sen. Don Shooter, will essentially swap seats with the Yuma lawmaker. Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, was termed out of the House.
- Sen. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale, was elected to a second term representing LD19.
- Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, was elected to her third term representing LD21 in the Senate..
- Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, was elected to his second term as LD23’s senator.
- Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs will once again represent LD24. The Phoenix Democrat is termed out in 2020.
- Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, was elected to his third term in LD25.
- Rep. Juan Mendez sought and lost an appointment to the Senate in 2015, but was unsuccessful. The Tempe Democrat will now represent LD26 after winning the election.
Republicans easily won the day in northern Arizona’s LD1 House race, where Republican Rep. Noel Campbell led the four-way race for two House seats, followed by Republican David Stringer.
Democrats took back the House seat in LD2 that they lost in 2014 to Republican Rep. Chris Ackerley. Democratic Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon won re-election, and will be joined at the Capitol next year by Democrat Daniel Hernandez in the southern Arizona District.
Democratic Reps. Sally Ann Gonzales and Macario Saldate easily won re-election to the House in the Tucson-based LD3.
Democratic Rep. Charlene Fernandez will be joined at the Capitol by Democrat Jesus Rubalcava, after the two won their uncontested race for the House in Yuma’s LD4.
Republican Rep. Regina Cobb a second term, and sent Republican Paul Mosley to join her in the House from LD5, which is covers most of Arizona’s western border.
Republican Rep. Bob Thorpe easily won re-election in northern Arizona’s LD6, while his seatmate, Republican Rep. Brenda Barton faced a brief scare but eventually emerged victorious against Democrat Alex Martinez.
Democrats Wenona Benally and Eric Descheenie won their unopposed election to the House in LD7, which is anchored in the Navajo Nation.
Republican Rep. T.J. Shope will be joined at the Capitol by Republican David Cook after the two easily dispatched their Democratic opponent in the Pinal County-based LD8.
Democrats ruled the day in Tucson’s LD9, where Democratic Rep. Randall Friese won re-election and will be joined at the Capitol by Democrat Pamela Powers Hannley.
In Tucson’s LD10, Democrat Kirsten Engel had the lead Wednesday, with Republican challenger Todd Clodfelter barely ahead of Democratic Rep. Stefanie Mach.
In Pinal County-based LD11, incumbent Republican Reps. Mark Finchem and Vince Leach easily won re-election.
Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth won his fourth consecutive election to the House in the unopposed election for the LD12 House, and will be joined by Republican newcomer Travis Grantham.
Republican Rep. Darin Mitchell won re-election and Republican Sen. Don Shooter won his bid for the state House from LD13, which spans from Yuma to the west valley.
Republicans Drew John and Becky Nutt won their elections in Republican-heavy LD14, which covers southeastern Arizona.
Republican Reps. Heather Carter and John Allen easily beat out their Democratic challenger in LD15.
Republican Reps. Doug Coleman and Kelly Townsend easily beat their Democratic challengers in LD16.
Republican Reps. J.D.Mesnard and Jeff Weninger won re-election to the LD17 House.
Democrat Mitzi Epstein is leading the pack in LD18, pulling off an upset in the traditionally Republican district. Her win appears to be Republican Rep. Bob Robson’s loss, as he trails Republican Rep. Jill Norgaard for the district’s second House seat.
The unopposed Democratic Reps in LD19, Mark Cardenas and Diego Espinoza, won re-election.
Republican Reps. Paul Boyer and Anthony Kern easily dispatched their Democratic challenger in LD20.
Republican Rep. Tony Rivero won re-election to the House in LD21, and will be joined by Republican Kevin Payne.
Republican Reps. David Livingston and Phil Lovas easily won re-election in LD22.
Republican Reps. Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Jay Lawrence easily beat back their Democratic challenger in LD23.
Unopposed Democratic Reps. Lela Alston and Ken Clark won re-election in LD24.
Republican Rep. Rusty Bowers won re-election in the east valley’s LD25, while Republican Michelle Udall will be joining him at the Capitol after the duo beat out their Democratic challenger.
Democrats Athena Salman and Isela Blanc easily won their race for the state House in the heavily Democratic LD26.
Democratic Reps. Rebecca Rios and Reginald Bolding were unopposed and won re-election in LD27.
Democrat Kelli Butler led the pack in the LD28 House race, while Republican Maria Syms was leading Republican Mary Hamway for the district’s second seat.
Democratic Rep. Richard Andrade easily won re-election in the LD29 House race, and will be joined at the Capitol by Democrat Cesar Chavez.
Democrats Ray Martinez and Tony Navarrete won their race for the LD30 House, easily beating their Republican challenger in the Democratic stronghold district.