Primary election will likely decide nearly half of Arizona’s legislative seats

Aug 2, 2022, 1:31 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm

(KTAR News Photos)...

(KTAR News Photos)

(KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX – Although it’s only the primary, Tuesday’s election is expected to fill nearly half of Arizona’s 90 legislative seats.

That’s because one major party or the other has no candidate, or only write-in candidates, for many state Senate and House races.

Assuming no write-in candidates overcome the hurdles necessary to advance to the general election, 43 spots in the Legislature will essentially be locked up once the primary votes are counted.

That breaks down to half of the 30 Senate seats (eight Republicans and seven Democrats) and 28 of the 60 House seats (16 Democrats and 12 Republicans).

“Everybody shows up in the general election goes, ‘Oh, I’m part of the decision-making process,” Chuck Coughlin, CEO of political consulting firm Arizona HighGround, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Tuesday.

“It’s really critically important that people go vote today because so many of these races get decided in the primary.”

While Democrats have four-seat edge in unchallenged House races, they only have a single candidate in nine districts, meaning Republicans are guaranteed at least one seat in those contests. The situation is the same but with the parties reversed in two districts, therefore Republicans already have 21 House seats clinched to 18 for Democrats.

In fact, 15 candidates (eight Democrats, seven Republicans) can make plans to be at January’s inauguration before a single primary vote is counted.

In the Senate primary, Democrats Theresa Hatathlie, Sally Ann Gonzales, Rosanna Gabaldon and Raquel Teran and Republicans Warren Petersen, Jake Hoffman, David Gowan, Sine Kerr and Sonny Borrelli are all unopposed in districts where there are no candidates in the opposing party.

There are three House districts with exactly two candidates on the primary ballot from one party and none in the other, meaning the races were effectively over when the nominating petitions were accepted.

That’s the situation for Republicans Neal Carter, Jacqueline Parker in District 15, Democrats Andres Cano and Alma Hernandez in District 20, and Democrats Jesus Lugo Jr. and Mariana Sandoval in District 23.

Why is it so easy to write off the possibility that a write-in primary candidate will get onto the general election ballot?

First, Arizona law allows write-in votes to count only for candidates who submitted nominating paperwork at least 40 days before the election (so that write-in for your spouse or Votey McVoteface is the same as a blank vote).

Second, they have to win their primary with a vote total that exceeds the required number of nominating signatures needed to get their names printed on the ballot as an official candidate. That threshold varies by district and party.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A winter weather system is expected to bring widespread rain to the Phoenix area Thursday night, No...

Kevin Stone

Weather system expected to bring rain to Phoenix area, snow to northern Arizona

A winter weather system is expected to bring widespread rain to the Phoenix area starting Thursday night and the largest snowstorm of the season to northern Arizona.

12 minutes ago

mugshot of Street after he turned himself in at the Casa Grande facility and image of teenage Haile...

3rd suspect arrested in connection to murder of teen at Casa Grande house party

A third suspect was arrested in connection to the murder of 17-year-old Hailey Stephens at a weekend house party in Casa Grande.

31 minutes ago

The mugshot taken of Lori Vallow Daybell when she was booked into a Phoenix jail on Thursday, Nov. ...

Kevin Stone

‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybell booked into Phoenix jail after extradition from Idaho

Lori Vallow Daybell, the infamous “Doomsday Mom,” was booked into a Phoenix jail on Thursday after being extradited from Idaho.

3 hours ago

US struggles to provide adequate housing and services...

Associated Press

Study says the US is ill-prepared to ensure housing for the growing number of older people

The United States is ill-prepared to ensure housing and care for the growing ranks of America's older people.

5 hours ago

cables on the floor...

SuElen Rivera

Arizona AG Mayes launches investigation into lead-covered cables

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes announced the launch of an investigation into possible lead-covered cables across the state.

6 hours ago

Rendering of the International Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills....

Kevin Stone

International Dark Sky Discovery Center sets March 2024 groundbreaking in Fountain Hills

After years of planning, construction on the International Dark Sky Discovery Center in Fountain Hills is set to start in March 2024.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Primary election will likely decide nearly half of Arizona’s legislative seats