VIA SBINSIDER | November 18th
Democrat Katie Hobbs narrowly defeated Kari Lake the Trump supported candidate for Governor. One local candidate, Mark Finchem, was handily defeated by Adrian Fontes in the race for Secretary of State. Finchem had been a member of the Arizona House before running and had made several campaign statements that lead voters to believe that if elected, he alone would decide if an election was fairly contested
UPDATE: The Race for Attorney General between Hamadeh and Mayes is headed for an automatic recount! This may delay the final result until December.
Amazingly, the State Treasurer, Kimberly Yee was the sole Republican who was not caught in the wipeout. Yee might have escaped as she was not supported by Trump and was the incumbent. In the other outlier, it appears that former Superintend of Education Tom Horne will defeat incumbent Kathy Hoffman.
As to the analysis, Republicans turned out their voters at a higher rate than the Democrats by 11 points. But, the independents went 30% more for Democrats and in a state where fully a third of the voters identify as PND (party not declared) that delta was the margin of winning. The post-election polling of those voters declared that the Trump support turned them to Democrat candidates. Women under 30 also went 68% in favor of Democrats due to the Dobbs abortion ruling. (It is a truism in politics that voters will always vote against what they perceive as a right or privilege being taken away.)
The Pinal County GOP delivered 55% for Abe Hamadeh for AG and Lake got nearly 57% for Governor. Juan Ciscomani also got 56% of his vote from Pinal (mostly SaddleBrooke and the Ranch) and the winner of the Congressional District 6 race. Republican Eli Crane defeated incumbent Tom O’Halloran in District 1 which contains about northern 2\3rds of Pinal County
While the executive will be controlled by the Democrats, both Arizona legislative houses will be controlled by the Republicans, but barely. In the Senate the count is 16-14 and in the House 31-29. In the last session, the same split resulted in several notable defections by Republicans on key election reform bills. In SaddleBrooke, three new faces will represent our area. Justine Wadsack defeated long-time incumbent Senator Vince Leach. In the House, Cory McGarr and Rachel Jones will represent LD 17.
The result of the split will likely lead to a budget gridlock in 2023. Hobbs did not campaign on any issue that the Democratic base is stridently demanding. Her website lists a desire for a child tax credit and some other small-ball giveaways.
In the 2022 legislative session Republicans threw copious amounts money at road construction (Interstate 10 in Pinal) education and paying down debt. Nothing that most Democrats would oppose. Perhaps the legislation enabling universal school choice accounts (ESA) will be attacked but the votes to overturn it are not available today.
Arizona Corporation Commission
Often overlooked, the ACC has enormous amount of power in regulating state utilities including water. Two Republicans won their races making the ACC a 4-1 Republican control. Nick Myers and Kevin Thompson ran as a team.
ORACLE SCHOOL BOARD
There were two open seats on the board and 4 contestants. Technically not a partisan race, the incumbents were Jeri Taylor and Gary Terrell both Republicans. While some votes are yet to be counted, it appears that Democrat Wendy Odell will win and Gary Terrell hold his seat.
Pinal County had about a 52% turnout with 146,500 ballots cast.