A former Chicago police officer defeated the sitting Pinal County sheriff in a bid to become a U.S. congressman.
Tom O’Halleran, who formerly served in the state Legislature, won seven out of the 11 counties comprising District 1. The Democrat earned 51 percent of the vote to Sheriff Paul Babeu’s 43 percent.
“Thanks so much to the voters of Arizona’s First Congressional District. I am honored and humbled by your support and look forward to serving you in Congress,” O’Halleran stated in a Facebook posting.
O’Halleran lives near Sedona in Yavapai County.
While serving in the Legislature, O’Halleran was a Republican. After disputes with party leadership, he briefly filed as an independent and then became a Democrat.
He succeeds Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who opted not to run again in order to challenge Republican Sen. John McCain. That challenge failed, as McCain won re-election with 53 percent of the vote.
Also in statewide voting, Arizonans were split on two ballot issues. Voters approved a Prop. 206 to increase the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and allow paid sick time off, with a 59-percent majority. However, they voted down Prop. 205, which would have legalized recreational cannabis.
With three seats available on the Corporation Commission, the three Republicans have outpaced the Democrats. Bob Burns was the top vote-getter with 941,729, which is 22 percent of the ballots. Andy Tobin has 21 percent, and Boyd Dunn 20 percent.