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Arizona Statehouse could be split more evenly between parties

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PHOENIX — Even when election results live up to predictions, there is always a chance for the unexpected and Arizona’s midterms produced just that.

“Every single election brings surprises,” Valley-based political consultant Stan Barnes said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“The Statehouse, for the first time since 1966, might actually be in play when it comes to a majority. That was a big surprise,” Barnes said.

But, “Thirty-one Republicans to 29 Democrats … if you’re a Democratic person, that’s your silver lining. The Democratic Party might get control. That’s a pretty big statement,” he said.

Barnes was more surprised by the lack of an outright winner in the fiercely battled U.S. Senate race between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

McSally led by less than 1 percent when Election Day ended. Votes were still being counted and it could take days before a winner is declared.

“I thought McSally would win by two or three points,” he said, adding that should the retired combat pilot win, she’d take the state but lose Maricopa County.

“If, indeed you can win a statewide race without Maricopa County, that’s an interesting dynamic.”

Other state races went as expected. Republicans Gov. Doug Ducey and state Attorney General Mark Brnovich won re-election.

At the federal level, things also played out to expectations.

“Arizona will send a split delegation to Washington,” he said.

Democrat Greg Stanton, the former mayor of Phoenix, easily won the U.S. House seat vacated by Sinema, and in another hard-punching congressional race, incumbent Tom O’Halleran, a Democrat, was declared the winner over Republican Wendy Rogers in District 1.

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