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Updated Nov 7, 2012, 2:24 am
U.S. Rep Raul Grijalva, on his way to a sixth term with a win over Republican challenger Gabriela Mercer, said "the people of Arizona are essentially decent and good people."
"You can't win" in Arizona with "anti-immigrant rhetoric," he said.
Democrats cheered Grijalva's announcement that while he would compromise in Washington, he is "not going to make a deal" that would cut education funding, limit gay rights, or "marginalize people because of who they are or what they look like."
Grijalva wound up his speech to applause that grew when the crowd saw that Hawaii had been called for Obama.
While that cheering was quickly dampened when Idaho went for Romney, just moments later the house was brought down when networks called the race for the president.
Democrats, their ranks swelling in the hotel ballroom, high-fived, chanting "Four more years."
A number of Dems stood on chairs and loudly sang along as "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey blasted from the PA system.
Republicans and Tea Party followers booed loudly at Pima County Republican election night headquarters at the Sheraton Hotel on East Grant Road as Fox news anchors called the race for Obama around 9:20 p.m.
The broadcasters said, "It's over. Inside the Obama war room, he knows he's going to win re-election."
At that, the 150 or so in the ballroom booed loudly and a few minutes later, many of them left the party, thinning the crowd to about 85 stalwarts.
No one from the local party took the podium to speak.
Romney called Obama to concede the election, and spoke to supporters in Massachusetts just before 11 p.m.
Romney decried "partisan bickering and political posturing," a remark that drew jeers from Tucson Democrats watching on the big screen.
"This election is over but our principles endure," Romney said, asking Republicans to join him in "earnestly pray(ing) for this great nation."
The race between U.S. Rep. Ron Barber and Martha McSally remained tight after midnight, with the Republican challenger barely leading in the CD2 contest.
Around 11 p.m., McSally's deputy campaign manager Kristen Douglas said the the race was getting closer, with Barber ahead by less than one percent.
Douglas said that results from Cochise County had yet to be counted, and that early ballots there had favored the Republican.
Just after 11, updates showed McSally leading the race by 1300 votes, out of 204,000 cast.
His talk to the crowd delayed by President Obama's victory speech, Barber said it may be days before all of the votes in CD2 are counted.
"It's like 2010 all over again," he joked. In that CD8 race between Gabrielle Giffords and Jesse Kelly, a winner wasn't known until Friday evening.
"There are tons of provisional ballots to count," he said.
"It's close, but the ballots will be counted in due course," he said.
McSally addressed the remaining supporters at her election night gathering shortly before midnight.
She was in a good mood as announced she was slightly ahead in the vote count, but the election remained too close to call.
McSally told everyone to go home and get some sleep, and that her campaign would hold a press conference in the morning.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona conceded the race to Republican Jeff Flake around 10:30 p.m.
Carmona tearfully embraced members of his campaign team, who he urged to crowd onto the podium.
Despite losing, his campaign did prove that Arizona is becoming more moderate, Carmona said.
Paton predicts victory
Republican Jonathan Paton is sure he'll win the newly drawn Congressional District 1 seat, he told supporters at about 9:45 p.m. at the GOP party gathering.
Paton, a former Arizona legislator, spoke about the challenge of the massive district, which reaches north to the Airzona-Utah border. His Democrat opponent is Ann Kirkpatrick, who formerly held the congressional seat.
Paton was leading the vote count by 1.5 points.
"We have been all over this state," Paton told about 85 people from the podium in a ballroom at the hotel. He said he expects strong support from voters in Oro Valley to help him win the vote.
Paton twice before lost in GOP primaries in the former CD8.
"The issues are very simple. We can have a rubber stamp or we can have a check and balance. I've been a candidate in CD1 because we need a check and balance on the president of the United States," he said.
am so grateful for all of you, for all the help you have given along the
way. We're ahead. It's a narrow lead but we're confident. Keep the
faith," Paton told the crowd.
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"There is going to be conservative representation in Washington, D.C."
Democratic party: 8:27 p.m.
With state Senate candidate David Bradley leading Republican Frank Antenori, Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers joked that he might not have to keep his bet to shave if the GOP Whip were to win a seat.
Republican gathering 8:15 p.m.
State Sen. Frank Antenori said no matter which way it goes in this 2012 general election for him, he is committed to creating a Republican majority in Pima County for 2014.
Antenori is a retired Army Green Beret who works at Raytheon, the defense contractor.
Antenori seemed to concede defeat at around 8 p.m. Tuesday when he said it was time to get started on bringing out the GOP vote in the 2014 election.
"In two years we have another battle to fight. We're going to start here in Pima County, ground zero. We need your help. We are in occupied territory here. We gotta take these guys down."
"Thank you for your help," he told the more than 200 supporters filling a ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel on East Grant Road at the Pima County Republican election night party. "We had a great turnout on the East Side of Tucson today," he said. "We're going to see some great results tonight, It's a great night to be a Republican."
There's been some chatter in political circles that Anternori might be the next county chair for the GOP.
Democratic party: 8:03 p.m.
Democrats burst into loud applause when TV networks announced that the presidential race was too close to call in Arizona.
Republican party: 7:45 p.m.
Republican Gabby Mercer said her run to try to unseat Democrat Raul Grijalva in the 3rd Congressional District was long and hard and if she doesn't win election, she will continue in politics.
"Absolutely," she said, although Mercer looked downcast as the results came in later in the evening.
"It's been 22 long months and we had awesome volunteers.We knocked on doors and made the calls.We did what we needed to do," she said.
Mercer ran an aggressive campaign against Grijalva, calling him a "socialist" and "un-American." She created controversy when she said in a video interview that some of the people with brown skin who come into the United States are coming to this country with the intent to harm people. She was alluding to Middle Eastern terrorists, she said, who she claimed look Hispanic and are able to enter the United States by blending in with other illegal immigrants.
McSally gathering: 7:45 p.m.
Republican congressional candidate Martha McSally threw her own election night gathering, were she spoke after making a stop at the main GOP party.
McSally arrived and greeted the guests at her party at an East Side Radisson hotel.
After making the rounds she took to the stage to thank all of the people who had worked on her campaign. The PA system wasn't working and so she told the crowd that she would just have to raise her voice and have everyone gather round — something else that her career in the military had helped to prepare her for this run.
McSally said that the campaign had done all they could and it was now in the hands of the voters. McSally noted that her whole political career was only 205 days old at this point between her brief run in the special election earlier in the year and her current campaign.
Pima Democratic gathering: 7:30 p.m.
About 240 Democrats crowded into a University-area Marriott ballroom, cheering national election results that showed their party winning a Senate seat in Massachusetts, and President Obama carrying Wisconsin and leading in Florida.
Pima GOP gathering: 7:15 p.m.
Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally said Tuesday night that she'd been up since 3:30 a.m. working to get out in the vote in her race to grab the 2nd District Congressional seat from Democrat Ron Barber, who was appointed to Congress after Gabrielle Giffords resigned following the assassination attempt on her life in 2011.
McSally, the Republican contender, said she was at the first poll opening in Green Valley to greet undecided voters and ask for their support. She said she feels "very positive' about the outcome at the polls, and that she ran a very strong race.
She thanked "everyone who invested in and volunteered for ou race. I could not have done it without these people," she told an overflow ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel on East Grant Road. More than 200 supporters are packed into a room with a stated capacity for 80 people.
"We ran with integrity, honor and authenticity," she said.
Pima County Sheriff candidate Mark Napier also spoke to the enthusiastic crowd of Tea Partiers and Republicans.
He said, "In a few hours you're gonna have a new sheriff in town, a sheriff you can be proud of and who will enforce all our laws."
Napier ran an aggressive campaign to try to unseat longtime Democrat Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.
Napier's remarks were cheered by the crowd. The Republican Party event at the Sheraton is hosted by broadcaster Jon Justice of 104.1 FM The Truth, whose partisan exhortations at the podium also sparked the audience. Also in the room, two large screen video feeds of FOX network news election coverage of races around the country, including a running tab of electoral votes for president.
Corporation Commissioner (Select 3)
|BITTER SMITH, SUSAN||REP||931,662||17%|
|BURNS, ROBERT BOB||REP||939,169||17%|
Southern Arizona races
Congress - Dist. 1
Congress - Dist. 2
Congress - Dist. 3
|SAUCEDO MERCER, GABRIELA||REP||62,337||37%|
|GRIJALVA, RAUL M.||DEM||98,036||58%|
State Senator - Dist. 2
State Rep. - Dist. 2 (Select 2)
|ACKERLEY, JOHN C.||REP||23,677||30%|
State Senator - Dist. 3
|CAJERO BEDFORD, OLIVIA||DEM||43,084||98%|
State Rep. - Dist. 3 (Select 2)
|GONZALES, SALLY ANN||DEM||35,795||53%|
State Senator - Dist. 4
State Rep. - Dist. 4 (Select 2)
|ESCAMILLA, JUAN CARLOS ''J.C.''||DEM||20,348||46%|
State Senator - Dist. 9
State Rep. - Dist. 9 (Select 2)
|SIDHWA, MOHUR SARAH||DEM||40,034||31%|
State Senator - Dist. 10
State Rep. - Dist. 10 (Select 2)
|CLODFELTER, TODD A.||REP||35,609||23%|
State Senator - Dist. 11
State Rep. - Dist. 11 (Select 2)
State Senator - Dist. 14
|FLEMING, PATRICIA V.||DEM||30,808||38%|
State Rep. - Dist. 14 (Select 2)
Proposition 409 City of Tucson
Pima County races
Board of Supervisors - Dist. 1
|YOUNG WRIGHT, NANCY||DEM||45,461||46%|
Board of Supervisors - Dist. 2
|VALADEZ, RAMON O.||DEM||30,205||63%|
Board of Supervisors - Dist. 3
|BELL, TANNER C.||REP||27,939||45%|
Board of Supervisors - Dist. 4
Board of Supervisors - Dist. 5
|DUPNIK, CLARENCE W.||DEM||185,425||51%|
|NAPIER, MARK D.||REP||167,830||46%|
|RODRIGUEZ, F. ANN||DEM||225,913||64%|
County Superintendent of Schools
|ARZOUMANIAN, LINDA L||REP||239,113||97%|
Tucson Unified S.D. 1 (Select 3)
|ELLINWOOD, RALPH E.||22,287||7%|
|FOSTER, KRISTEL ANN||41,372||13%|
|HUNNICUTT, JOHN A.||28,326||9%|
|JUAREZ, CAM S.||33,863||11%|
Pima Community College Dist. 3
Pima Community College Dist. 5
|FRIDENA, RICHARD H.||14,846||37%|
|SAITTA, FRANCIS P.||7,344||19%|
Marana Unified S.D. 6 (Select 3)
Sunnyside Unified S.D. 12 (Select 3)
|PAVEY, MALCOM R.||5,025||18%|
Vail Unified S.D. 20 (Select 3)
|KING, DEBBIE K.||10,207||24%|
|KMAK, ANGELA M.||4,501||10%|
|STAGGS, DANA T.||8,810||20%|
Sahuarita Unified S.D. 30 (Select 3)
|HALL, J. ELAINE||4,403||26%|
|KELLERMEYER, DIANA S||4,668||28%|
Other Az races
Congress - Dist. 4
Congress - Dist. 5
Congress - Dist. 6
Congress - Dist. 7
Congress - Dist. 8
Congress - Dist. 9
|PARKER, VERNON B.||REP||110,715||45%|
Kevin Asher, Bill Vaughn, George Frantziskonis, Maria Coxon-Smith and Curtis Thompson contributed to this story.