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Wendy Rogers is the Republican front-runner in the early counting for CD1.

Competing for a chance to face off with Democrat Tom O’Halleran in the fall, Maricopan Steve Smith trails Wendy Rogers by more than 2,000 votes.

Tiffany Shedd is a distant third in the Republican Primary for U.S. Congress District 1.

“It’s been a long, hard road so far,” Smith said while awaiting results. “A huge district, 59,000 square miles. My poor car is chugging right along still. But it’s been a great time.”

Smith is currently the senator from Legislative District 11.

Still waiting for seven counties to fully report, Rogers had 20, 564 votes to Smith’s 17,879.

Meanwhile, O’Halleran, the incumbent, was unopposed in the Democrat primary.

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State Sen. Steve Smith

Maricopa resident Steve Smith is running for Congress.

Smith is currently the state senator for District 11. A strong supporter of President Trump’s policies, he wants to turn Congressional District 1 back to the Republicans. He announced his campaign Monday morning.

CD1 covers nearly 60,000 square miles and ranges from Eloy to the Utah border. It is politically a tossup. Democrat Tom O’Halleran of Sedona won the congressional seat easily in the November election, but the district went to Trump 48 percent to 47 percent over Hillary Clinton.

“It is diverse but it is a microcosm of the district I’ve always served,” Smith said.

It is a rural district representing ranchers, farmers, Native American strongholds, colleges and miners, he said.

Smith was first elected to the Legislature as a representative in 2010. He has championed conservative issues, from government debt to border security and job growth. He said the issues will be the same in his congressional campaign.

“We have to bring jobs to our district,” he said. “We have to get spending under control.”

He also said there needs to be more personal morality and responsibility in Washington while the country continues an “American first” policy put forth by the Administration.

“The President’s doing a great job,” Smith said.

The election is in November 2018. Smith said he will fill out his term, which ends that December, and find the balance between campaigning and serving in the state senate.

He is already touting endorsements from Republican congressmen Trent Franks and Andy Biggs.

Smith and his wife Jamie have five children.