It’s not looking like former lawmaker Catherine Miranda will return to the Legislature.
With early LD27 Democratic primary results in, Miranda is struggling to approach either Rep. Diego Rodriguez or Rep. Reginald Bolding, even with her ample name recognition in the district.
Bolding is in first, with a 7 percent lead over Rodriguez, who has 35 percent of the votes counted so far. Miranda trails Rodriguez by 12 points, the early count shows.
Miranda first served in 2011, and built a reputation as a social conservative whose stances on issues, such as abortion, went against the more progressive direction of the Democratic Party. In 2018, she mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge from the right against Congressman Ruben Gallego in the Seventh Congressional District.
Historically, Miranda has never lost an election in the legislative district, though that may change tonight.
Outside groups on both sides of the progressive-moderate divide spent heavily in the district.
Miranda received token support from conservative groups, such as the American Federation for Children, and Students for Life – an abortion abolition group. But her most enthusiastic outside supporter is Revitalize Arizona, a PAC with ties to influential labor attorney Israel Torres. The group spent just under $10,000 to support her campaign.
Miranda’s primary election, which all-but ensures a seat in the heavily blue district, comes in spite of opposition from progressive groups, such as Progress Arizona and the American Civil Liberties Union, which both spent tens of thousands of dollars on campaign materials attacking her.
Rodriguez, an attorney with a progressive slant who is a prominent advocate for criminal justice reform at the Legislature, joined the House in 2018. Bolding, who serves as House Minority co-whip, began serving in 2015.