Biggs drops out of House race after legal challenge


The race for state House in Legislative District 16 has one less Republican candidate.

Braden Biggs, 29, who resigned his seat on the Apache Junction city council earlier this year to run for the legislative seat, announced Thursday he was ending his campaign.

“Last week, a legal challenge was brought forth and after numerous talks with legal advisers and political advisers it has been determined that the best course of action is to bow out,” Biggs wrote in a letter posted on his campaign’s Facebook page.

“This certainly is not the outcome I predicted but as I have learned through the years, sometimes life doesn’t always go the way we planned. However, this is certainly not the end.”

Biggs was elected in 2020 to the Apache Junction board, his first public office. When he announced his candidacy in February, he said he would move to Maricopa to pursue the House seat.

In the Facebook post, Biggs said the challenge focused on his residency.

Maricopa, the largest city in Pinal County, will anchor the reconfigured LD-16 beginning in 2023 after the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission unanimously approved a new map in December. The city is currently in LD-11.

The commission re-draws the state’s legislative and congressional districts once a decade following the census to reflect changes in the state’s population.

Biggs’s exit means two Republicans and one Democrat will compete for two seats in the state House in LD-16.

State Rep. Teresa Martinez will seek election after being appointed to replace state Rep. Bret Roberts of Maricopa. Roberts resigned last year and moved out of state. She will be challenged by Republican Rob Hudelson and Democrat Keith Seaman.

One state senator is elected from the district. The general election race is already set after Republican Dan Wood’s removal from the primary ballot leaves just two candidates.

T.J. Shope, the Republican incumbent from LD-8, who is seeking re-election in the reconfigured district, will be challenged by Democrat Taylor Kerby.

Vince Leach, the current state senator in LD-11, will seek re-election in the reconfigured LD-17.