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Three Democrats, Two Republicans, write-in candidate advance in Corp Comm primary

Ballots are handled after the votes were counted at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office for the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ballots are handled after the votes were counted at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office for the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

All five candidates seeking a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission advanced to the November election, as expected, and a Republican write-in candidate will join them. 

There are three seats open this election cycle and only one incumbent in Lea Marquez Peterson, a Republican. Fellow commissioners Bob Burns, the chair, reaches the end of his term limit this year and Boyd Dunn failed to qualify for the ballot after his petition signatures were challenged in court. 

Joining Marquez Peterson on the Republican ticket is Eric Sloan, who was fired from the Arizona Department of Gaming for singing slavery-related songs when he passed the desk of Black co-workers, among other harassment claims. But Jim O’Connor, who narrowly lost in the 2018 Republican primary, ran a write-in campaign this year in hopes to not automatically give one seat to the Democrats. 

Results so far show O’Connor was able to secure the minimum 6,663 votes to make the general election ballot. He has more than 20,000. 

Sloan currently leads Marquez Peterson in total votes from Republicans. 

The Corporation Commission currently has a 4-1 split in favor of Republicans so if only two Republicans (Marquez Peterson and Sloan) one of the new Democrats will slide in and join Sandra Kennedy in a 3-2 split at a minimum.

Former Republican commissioner Bill Mundell, who switched parties and lost in the 2018 Democratic primary, joins Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar and newcomer Shea Stanfield as the Democratic ticket, but they are not running as a slate. Kennedy is Mundell’s campaign chair. 

Tovar leads in total votes, followed by Mundell and Stanfield, respectively. 

After the November election three of these candidates will join Kennedy and Republican Commissioner Justin Olson on the five-member commission that regulates monopoly utilities, among other duties.

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