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Former Mayor Greg Stanton wins Democratic primary for US House seat

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton could soon have a new title: U.S. Representative.

Stanton was elected on Tuesday to represent the Democratic Party for Arizona’s 9th congressional district, which was previously held by U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Sinema announced last year that she would vacate the seat in order to run for U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat. Sinema was also expected to win her Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Stanton was running uncontested for the Democratic seat, but will face off with Republican Stephen Ferrara in the Nov. 6 general election.

In a Tuesday email, Stanton said his campaign raised more than $1.7 million, with the majority of donations being $30 or less.

The sprawling district stretches from Phoenix into suburbs to the east.

The election is expected to be a highly-contested one: It is one of two open congressional seats this year in Arizona, a state that national Democrats have their eye on in their quest to win the House of Representatives.

Holding onto the 9th District, which went for Hillary Clinton in 2016, is an important piece of the puzzle – but former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel said it’s a likely keep.

“Every single nonpartisan political ratings agency or political ratings organization says that it’s either safe or a likely Democratic district,” he said.

Democrats in Arizona are hoping for a “blue wave” in November, propelled by Sinema at the top of the ticket and a movement for increased school funding that led to a six-day teacher walkout this spring that drew widespread support in places like Phoenix’s eastern suburbs.

Democrats consider Stanton “one of the best recruits in the country,” Israel said.

The district has a slight Democratic edge — 130,682 registered Democrats, compared to 121,533 registered Republicans.

But both parties are outnumbered by 136,635 unaffiliated voters — plus a thousand or so Green Party registrants and more than 4,500 Libertarians.

Stanton resigned from his post as Phoenix mayor in May in order to pursue a run for the U.S. House seat.

Stanton served as mayor for more than six years. His term would have expired in 2019.

Council members who want to run for mayor in the November special election will be forced to resign by Aug. 8.

Phoenix City Council members Daniel Valenzuela and Kate Gallego, Moses Sanchez, Nicholas Sarwark and Michael Lafferty have already announced their bids for mayor.

For results and reaction, listen to KTAR News 92.3 FM’s primary roundtable program Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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