The primary races are set for this year’s elections as Wednesday’s deadline passed for candidates. Some incumbents could face a tough primary battle while some seats without an incumbent are in high demand.
Maricopa City Council has three openings and just two incumbents running for re-election. Five others filed their papers to challenge them. The field includes four men and three women. The youngest, and the last to decide to run, is 20-year-old Paige Richie, a political science major at Arizona State University.
“I think what most prompted me to join the race so soon would be my passion for Maricopa,” she said. “Having lived here for many years and for much of my childhood, Maricopa has been the cornerstone of my personal and professional development; I just want to return the favor and help in Maricopa’s development.”
Seven people are running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. It is a race in which the top fund-raising candidates are women, including Kyrsten Sinema among the Democrats and Kelli Ward and Martha McSally among the Republicans.
Incumbent Congressman Tom O’Halleran again has a challenge from Miguel Olivas in the primary before he can think about who might emerge from the three Republicans.
State incumbents with challenges from their own party include Gov. Doug Ducey, who saw the late emergence of former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, taking shots at Ducey’s record on education.
“The establishment said we could not do this, but once again, Arizona is proving individual rights and the constitution still matter,” Bennett tweeted after filing his nomination papers on deadline day.
On that vein, the controversial sitting superintendent of public education, Diane Douglas, is awash in fellow Republicans gunning for her job, not to mention two Democrats.
Secretary of State Michele Reagan also has a primary challenger with deep pockets while the Democrats stack up three deep for the position.
Races with no incumbent include state treasurer, state senator for District 11 and Maricopa/Stanfield constable. Races that have only one candidate per party and will therefore have no primary are attorney general, mine inspector and state senator for District 11. Maricopa/Stanfield Justice of the Peace Lyle Riggs faces no opponent at all.
Three of the four Republicans running for state house in District 11 are Maricopa residents – Howell Jones, Bridger Kimball and Bret Roberts.
Candidates who wish to run for a seat on the governing board of Maricopa Unified School District can begin filing July 9 to be on the general election ballot.
U.S. Representative District 1
Secretary of State
Mark Robert Gordon
Jo Ann Sabbagh
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Kiana Maria Sears
LEGISLATURE DISTRICT 11
State House (elect 2)
Clerk of Superior Court
Justice of the Peace
William Lee Griffin
City Council (elect 3)
(Vincent Manfredi is minority owner of InMaricopa.)