Democrats eye 2 open House seats in Arizona
PHOENIX (AP) — Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick emerged from a competitive Democratic primary Tuesday to win the nomination for an open Arizona House seat that is seen as one of the races the national party is looking to flip as it seeks to gain control of the House of Representatives in November.
Kirkpatrick beat recurring candidate Matt Heinz and five others. The race for the seat being vacated by Rep. Martha McSally, who won a GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, and is seen as a swing district where both Democrats and Republicans have won in the past.
On the Republican side, Lea Marquez Peterson beat Brandon Martin, Casey Welch and Danny Morales. Peterson, CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, outraised her opponents by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I am asking for your vote so I can protect families who live paycheck to paycheck-no matter what party you vote for,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement.
That matchup is one of two races with open seats this year. The other is the race for the seat being vacated by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who won the Democratic Senate primary.
In the race for Sinema’s seat, Steve Ferrara, a former Navy chief medical officer who spent more than two decades in the military, won a three-way GOP primary. He will face former Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton in November.
Ferrara said Tuesday that he thinks he could flip the district by focusing on issues like health care instead of politics.
“In going into this race, my entire purpose is to unify people, not be more of the same,” he said.
In the 8th Congressional District, Rep. Debbie Lesko beat Sandra Dowling in the GOP primary. She’ll have a rematch against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a doctor who lost to Lesko in a special election this spring.
Tiperneni came within about 5 percentage points of beating Lesko, a margin that was closer than many election watchers expected from the Republican-leaning district. The district covers western parts of suburban Phoenix
Rep. Tom O’Halleran had no Democratic opposition in the 1st Congressional District, which covers much of northern and eastern Arizona.
Retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers won a three-way Republican primary to take on O’Halleran. Rogers beat state Sen. Steve Smith and farmer-attorney Tiffany Shedd in Tuesday’s primary.
The district narrowly voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but O’Halleran won his seat that same year.
Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva secured the nomination for his 3rd District seat, which covers southwest Arizona and part of the state’s second-largest city. Republican Nick Pierson beat Sergio Arellano and Edna San Miguel in the GOP primary.
In the heavily Republican 5th Congressional District, Rep. Andy Biggs had no primary opponent, and will face Democrat Joan Greene in November.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, beat a primary challenge from state Sen. Catherine Miranda for the 7th Congressional District covering parts of Phoenix. No Republicans are running in the Democrat-packed district.
David Brill has won the Democratic nomination for a western Arizona House district. In November, he will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Gosar for the District 4 seat. Gosar is serving his fourth term. Arizona’s 4th Congressional District is staunchly Republican. Haryaksha Gregor Knauer ran as a Green Party candidate.