Tag Archives: Vernon Parker

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Barber ahead again, Sinema lead grows

Two Arizona congressional races remained too close to call Sunday.

The hand-picked successor of former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was ahead again in his race to win a full term in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Results posted Sunday show Democrat Ron Barber pulling ahead of Republican Martha McSally by more than 300 votes out of more than 250,000 cast in the 2nd Congressional District race. The district covers parts of Pima and all of Cochise County. Pima County expects no vote tallies Sunday and Cochise County officials were unavailable.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has seen her lead over Republican Vernon Parker in the Phoenix-area’s 9th District seat widen to more than 5,700 votes.

Maricopa County still has hundreds of thousands of early and provisional ballots to count. Pima County has about 33,000 to count.

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Arizona congressional races too close to call

Arizona’s three competitive congressional races were too close to call early Wednesday, including the Tucson-centered seat Rep. Ron Barber won in June to replace his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords.

Barber saw his small lead against Republican Martha McSally in the 2nd District disappear just before midnight, with McSally taking a tiny lead.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

Barber reminded supporters that Giffords’ narrow 2010 win over Republican Jesse Kelly also wasn’t known for several days.

“We’ve got a little bit further to go,” he said. “It’s going to be tomorrow or the day after that.”

Both Giffords and Barber were wounded in January 2011 when a gunman opened fire at a “Congress on Your Corner” event for the then-congresswoman and her constituents. Eleven others also were wounded and six people were killed.

Giffords stepped down from Congress earlier this year to focus on her recovery. Barber beat Kelly in the June special election to replace her.

Kelly chose not to make a third run this fall. McSally, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, won the GOP nomination in August and sought to persuade some of the women and independents who swung to Barber in the special election.

“We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we expected,” she said late Tuesday.

In the new Phoenix-area 9th District, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Vernon Parker were in a near dead heat.

Both Parker and Sinema acknowledged the wait would be long, and Parker urged his supporters to be patient because thousands of ballots remained uncounted.

“I am telling you all to hang in there,” Parker told supporters in Phoenix. “We will win this thing. I guarantee you.”

Republicans have a slight registration advantage in the district, which includes much of Tempe and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Mesa and Chandler. But both parties’ totals are exceeded by independents, and many believe it leans Democratic.

Sinema told supporters there was good reason to be optimistic.

“Right now we’re going to keep our heads high, take a deep breath and pray for every vote to be counted in this election,” she said.

In northeastern Arizona’s 1st District, Republican Jonathan Paton’s slight lead over Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick diminished as Tuesday night wore on.

Kirkpatrick told supporters she was waiting for results from the Navajo Nation and other tribal areas that she hopes will put her back on top. The district runs from Flagstaff through eastern Arizona counties and then west into parts of Pinal County.

“Our race is looking good, but we’re not going to know for quite a while,” she said.

Depending on the outcome, Democrats could end up with a majority of the delegation or Republicans could hold on or add to their current 5-3 majority. The state earned a ninth seat after the 2010 Census and will fill it for the first time in November.

Voters in six districts chose their representatives along the expected 4-2 party split in favor of Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva won re-election in the 3rd District, freshman GOP Rep. Paul Gosar easily won in the 4th District and former Republican Rep. Matt Salmon coasted to victory in the 5th.

Republican Reps. David Schweikert and Trent Franks were re-elected in the 6th and 8th districts while Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor cruised in the 7th District.

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Schweikert, Sinema, Salmon, Gosar, Parker earn primary wins

In a bruising battle of incumbent congressmen, Rep. Dave Schweikert defeated Rep. Ben Quayle Tuesday as Arizona voters faced a scrambled political map during their late summer primaries.

Redistricting pitted several veteran politicos against one another here, but the fight between Schweikert and the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle to represent Arizona’s 6th Congressional District stood out. The two conservative congressmen were on the same page on policy but lobbed personal attacks at each other. Schweikert accused Quayle of “carpetbagging” for moving into his district and reminded voters about a scandal that haunted Quayle in 2010, when it was revealed he contributed to a racy Scottsdale web site.

Quayle dubbed Schweikert “dishonest Dave” and suggesting he leaked a report that Quayle was one of multiple congressmen who took a dip in the Sea of Galillee during a junket to Israel.

Quayle called Schweikert to concede shortly about 10 p.m. “This is big boy politics and Congressman Quayle was absolutely gracious,” Schweikert told reporters.

Quayle told supporters that he wasn’t through with public life. “I’m going to continue to work so we can make this country a better place, so my daughter will have better opportunities than we had,” he said.

The suburban Phoenix district is heavily Republican, making Schweikert a favorite in the November general election.

In the sprawling 4th District that covers much of northern and western Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar beat off a strong challenge from state Sen. Ron Gould. Gosar was targeted by FreedomWorks and The Club for Growth, two funders of right-wing challengers to incumbent Republicans.

Gosar said he was not afraid to rule out compromise, while Gould campaigned as the true conservative with legislative experience.

Gosar called the challenge to him “an inside deal” and said the mostly rural voters of his district were not pawns for Washington power players. “They’re not here to be bought off or thwarted by outside interest groups,” he said.

In the 1st District, which covers the vast northeast of the state, the onetime Democratic Congresswoman Gosar beat in 2010, Ann Kirkpatrick, easily won her party’s primary to face Republican state legislator Jonathon Paton for the open seat in November. Gosar had left the district for the more Republican 4th after a state panel redrew the lines last year.

In the 2nd District in Tucson and the state’s southeast, Rep. Ron Barber, a former aide to onetime Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, easily beat back a Democratic primary challenge from a state lawmaker, three months after winning a June election to succeed the wounded congresswoman.

Another former member of congress, onetime Rep. Matt Salmon, beat former State House speaker Kirk Adams for the GOP nomination in another open district in Phoenix’s southeastern suburbs. And in the district that Quayle left, former Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema defeated two other prominent Democrats for the nomination in the new 9th district, which Democrats believe they have a chance of winning.

Sinema will face former Paradise Valley mayor Vernon Parker has won the Republican nomination in Arizona’s new 9th Congressional District. Some early ballots remain to be counted but results Wednesday with all 141 precincts reporting show Parker with an 800-vote margin over Wendy Rogers, with a total of more than 38,000 votes cast in the seven-way GOP race.