Author: Mike Huckins, Vice President of Public Affairs
Earlier this month, more than 1.4 million Arizonans voted in the August 4 Primary Election. This year the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsed 59 legislative candidates and saw a 90% success rate among endorsed candidates. I’m proud to share that more than 50 pro-business, pro-Arizona candidates who will support policies critical to Arizona’s economy will be on the ballot in November.
Reviewing Primary Data
It’s important to note that this year’s Primary Election was different from others. First, the voter turnout rate this year was more than 36%, up from 29%in 2016. Second, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in public awareness campaigns to encourage voters to vote through Arizona’s robust and secure mail-in voting system. This campaign resulted in a significant increase in voters who mailed-in their ballots.
A key theme of the August election across the state and the political spectrum was competitive races at the local level. This year included several notable and close elections between established lawmakers and hopeful challengers.
- Legislative District 8: Former State Representative and current State Senator, Frank Pratt, successfully maintained his party seat against challengers. Senator Pratt is an expert lawmaker who has continually represented his district effectively. As a lawmaker, his ability to draft policy that meets the needs of the environment and the business community is unparalleled.
- Legislative District 13: Elected to her seat in 2018, Representative Joanne Osborne successfully defeated former Representative Steve Montenegro. She will be moving forward to the General Election. During her short time as a lawmaker, Representative Osborne demonstrated her ability to work with the business community. More importantly, as a business owner herself, she understands what policy support small businesses need to move forward.
- Legislative District 15: In perhaps the most competitive race of the Primary, Senator Nancy Barto and Representative Heather Carter went head-to-head. Both Barto and Carter are long-time lawmakers with strong ties to Legislative District 15. By a close 5% margin, Senator Barto overcame Representative Carter and will be the Republican on the ballot in November.
In addition to the noted races, several pro-Arizona democratic candidates successfully fought challenges to their seats from aggressive organizing groups.
In 68 days, Arizonans will be casting ballots in the General Election. Between now and November 3, voters can expect to hear about multiple key races and many ballot measures that will impact the economic prosperity of the state.
- Arizona Senate Race: Arizonans will see an increase of campaigning in the race for Arizona’s seat in the U.S. Senate. On the Republican side, Senator Martha McSally (R) sailed through the Primary Election. On the Democratic side, Captain Mark Kelly (D) faced no opposition in his Primary race. Both candidates have extensive careers focused on public service and strong ties to Arizona’s community. While the Chamber’s PAC doesn’t endorse in federal elections, the Chamber has held virtual meetings to ensure that our members had the opportunity to hear from both candidates ahead of the November election.
- Legislative District 6: Candidate Wendy Rogers defeated incumbent Sylvia Allen in the state senate race in LD-6. I anticipate that this race will be extremely competitive in the General Election as Wendy Rogers (R) and Felicia French (D) rally for support.
- Legislative District 17: Long-time Arizona lawmaker, Senator J.D. Mesnard, faced no opposition in his Primary election for his district. Heading into the General Election, Senator Mesnard will be challenged by . While not a typically competitive district, in the past five years, this district has come into play, and I anticipate that it will be a tough race for both candidates.
- Legislative District 28: In the past decade, Legislative District 28 has been essential to legislative action, and therefore, extremely competitive in the General Election. Senator Kate Brophy McGee, who has represented their area in some capacity since 2012, won her Primary Election but will face a tough General Election. In 2018, Senator Brophy McGee won the election by only 267 votes against candidate Christine Marsh. Marsh won the 2020 Democratic Primary in this district.
To ensure that Chamber members are prepared for the November 3 General Election, the Chamber’s PAC will be releasing General Election candidate endorsements in early September. Additionally, our members will receive a Voter Guide, which will detail pro-business candidates and provide information on critical ballot measures. кредит на карту