VIA SBINSIDER| August 13th
The Pinal County Board certified the county voting canvass Friday. Included in that certification are the winners in LD-17. For Senate the winner is Justine Wadsack over long time officeholder, Vince Leach. In the House, Cory McGarr and Rachel Jones were the winners. The trio ran as the Arizona Freedom Team and pooled their resources in terms of road signs and direct mailings.
Leach is a SaddleBrooke resident. One of the challengers in the House race was Kirk Fiehler who resides in nearby Eagle Crest. Fiehler placed fourth in the 5 person race.
According the Arizona Secretary of State website, Wadsack garnered 16,329 Votes and Leach 14,161 (Leading by 2,168)
Talk Radio Plays a Role
The Freedom Team also had a champion on local talk radio. KNST AM 790 morning host Garret Lewis was a ceaseless cheerleader for all three. He directed his most ire at state Senator Vince Leach who refused to go on the radio and debate the host. Lewis was most angered by the actions of the Ducey administration regarding COVID restrictions and masking requirements. Leach was identified by Lewis as “part of the establishment Republicans, who did not listen nor care about the burdens placed on ordinary voters.”
The election was accompanied by a major controversy in that many voters in SaddleBrooke and other county precincts in were denied ballots to a shortage. Many voters were asked to return later in the day and were told that if they were in line by 7PM that night, they would be ale to vote.
Leach not Conceding
As of this posting, Leach has refused to concede and has alerted the Arizona Republican leadership that he intends to challenge the race due to the disenfranchisement of his voters in SaddleBrooke. In the SaddleBrooke precincts, Leach won many more votes than Wadsack. She outdistanced him in the Pima County portion of LD-17. In conversation with SBINSIDER, Leach stated “If I lost by a fair counting of the votes, OK. But the unusual shortage of ballots in my key precincts could have been the difference.”
Meanwhile, in online postings, Wadsack has indicated that has she been meeting with Republican officials in Phoenix as the presumptive winner.