Voters selected a trio of republicans, Steve Smith, Frank Pratt and John Fillmore, to represent them in the state legislature, the first republican sweep since the county’s inception more than 100 years ago.

Smith defeated District 23 state Senate incumbent Rebecca Rios by nearly 10 percentage points, or 29,330 votes to 24,641 votes.

The democrat’s defeat will mark the first time in nearly three decades, come January, that a Rios, either Rebecca or her father Pete Rios, has not held a seat in the state legislature.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me in this election,” said Smith. “The people of our district have spoken and it is now time to get to work.”

Smith said his top priority would be “stopping all funding for illegal aliens. We need to stop the food stamps and welfare immediately. At emergency rooms, there is always a sign that says you will not be refused treatment. OK, good. Treat them, but there will be someone waiting there when they wake up.”

In the District 23 House Fillmore and Pratt each secured around 29 percent of the vote compared to their democrat challengers Ernest Bustamante and Barbara McGuire who respectively brought in 20 percent and 21 percent of the vote.

Locally the Maricopa Unified School District override measure was defeated a third time, Scott Bartle and Pattie Coutre were elected to the Maricopa Unified School board and Scott Sulley was re-elected as precinct 8 Justice of the Peace.

“I am very excited to be elected and want to thank everyone who made this possible,” Coutre said. “With the failure of the override there will be difficult decisions to make, but MUSD is not the only school district that will need to make these hard decisions.”

Bartle agreed stating, “This is a pivotal time for our schools and our city, and I’m excited to be in a position to impact the direction we go.”

These local race numbers were as of 8:30 a.m., with all precincts reporting.

However, Pinal County Elections Department Director Steve Kizer said there were still more than 1,000 remaining provisional or early ballots to be counted.

“These ballots should be processed by tomorrow,” he added.

On the Federal level the race for U.S. Representative in the seventh district remains to close to call.

Currently, incumbent Raul Grijalva leads republican challenger Ruth McClung 61,598 votes to 58,012 votes with 260 of 261 precincts reporting.

Interestingly, among Pinal County voters McClung was a clear favorite, securing 58 percent of the vote compared to Grijalva’s nearly 36 percent.

The other democrat incumbent representing Pinal County on the national level, Ann Kirkpatrick, lost her District 1 congressional seat to republican Paul Gosar.


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