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McSally wins, Ducey takes GOP gov nod, Huppenthal & Horne ousted

CD2 candidate Martha McSally won the GOP primary Tuesday, while in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Doug Ducey was easily leading the crowded field. Incumbent schools chief John Huppenthal was losing at 43 percent, as was incumbent Attorney General Tom Horne with 46 percent.

McSally pulled 70 percent of the vote, with Chuck Wooten at 23 percent and Shelley Kais trailing at 8 percent.

Ducey was leading a six-candidate field with 37 percent, easily taking the hard-fought primary race to face Democrat Fred DuVal in November. Ducey's nearest competitor was Scott Smith, with 22 percent, while Christine Jones had 16 percent.

In the Republican primary for Attorney General, incumbent Tom Horne trailed challenger Mark Brnovich, 54-46 percent.

The vast CD1, stretching from Oro Valley to Flagstaff and beyond to the Grand Canyon, had three GOP candidates vying for the nod. Andy Tobin and Gary Kiehne were tied with 35 percent, while Adam Kwasman at 29 percent. While at one point the margin between the two leaders was a slender as 14 votes, it widened to favor Kiehne by almost 300 late in the night. Midday Wednesday, the tally had Tobin up by about 200 votes.

In the Republican primary for superintendent of public instruction, incumbent John Huppenthal was losing at 42 percent, to challenger Diane Douglas with 58 percent.


McSally's anticlimatic primary victory sets up a repeat face-off with U.S. Rep. Ron Barber. The three-time candidate lost in a spring 2012 special primary election to Republican Jesse Kelly, then faced Barber in the 2012 general election.

Telling supporters that CD2 is the most competitive race in the country, McSally thanked voters and her opponents in the primary, saying that she is grateful for all who are willing to serve

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In an email sent out Tuesday night, McSally's campaign fired away at Barber, pointing out the close polling between the two candidates, which her campaign manager said is a "tried and true sign of an incumbent who is unlikely to win."

"While his team manufactures laughable attacks and uses a generic national playbook that does not work against Martha, our campaign will be spending the general election sticking to the facts, staying on offense, and talking about specific, substantive votes and policy positions," said Weston McKee.

Barber, whose staffers were keen to point out Tuesday that he had tallied more votes than McSally did in her contested primary, was vocal in challenging his opponent Tuesday night.

McSally was "handpicked" by House Speaker John Boehner, Barber said. "She doesn't understand our community."

"I want to pass the DREAM Act; she makes fun of the DREAM Act," Barber said, also pointing out policy differences on abortion rights and gay marriage.

"She stands and points fingers and never offers concrete solutions," the Democrat said of McSally.

"If the public wants to know what kind of person Martha McSally is, they can go back to the 2012 election. She's not a moderate, she's an extremist," he told TucsonSentinel.com.

"McSally's election is being run for her at the national level," Barber said. "There's a wealth of money coming in from donors from outside the state."

While Barber noted that McSally campaign had raised more money than his own, he said that she's "spending it as fast as she can get it. How you spend that money and where you spend that money matters."

Barber said that the McSally campaign had received nearly $2.1 million from the Koch Brothers, as well as donations directly from Boehner.

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McSally's campaign put out a list of a dozen votes and statements by Barber, criticizing his stance on issues ranging from border enforcement to Obamacare to the Keystone pipeline.

Oro Valley

In Oro Valley, incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath was easily beating challenger Pat Straney, with 61 percent of the vote.

Incumbents also were prevailing in the Oro Valley Town Council primary, with Joe Hornat (25 percent), Mary Snider (29 percent) and Lou Waters (28 percent) leading challenger Donald Bristow (17 percent).

A "home rule" proposition to allow the town to bypass spending limits mandated by the Legislature was passing with 71 percent of the vote.


Candidates — and voters — across Arizona are waiting for ballots to be counted in Tuesday's primary election. Polls closed at 7 p.m., and preliminary results should be released around 8 p.m.

Tucson Democrats gathered at a Downtown bar, Junxion, while local Republicans were scattered at several gatherings around the city. About three dozen supporters of Martha McSally were at her campaign headquarters as polls closed, while about 50 supporters of Shelley Kais were at McMahon's restaurant. Backers of Chuck Wooten and the right-wing group organized by former state Sen. Frank Antenori had other gatherings planned.

As candidates and party activists waited on results, more McSally supporters crowded into her Midtown headquarters, while about 80 Democrats listened as party stalwarts such as U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva spoke to the crowd.

While much of the attention has been paid to statewide primaries — particularly on the Republican side, with tight races for the party's picks for governor, attorney general and other offices — both congressional primaries in CD1 and CD2 and a handful of local legislative primaries will be decided by Southern Arizona voters.

The vast CD1, stretching from Oro Valley to Flagstaff and beyond to the Grand Canyon, has three GOP candidates vying for the nod. More local is the CD2 contest, with repeat candidate Martha McSally working to fend off challengers and hoping to face Ron Barber again in November.

In the Arizona Legislature, the next senator from LD3 will be decided by Democratic primary voters on Tuesday, as there is no Republican running in the general.

In District 14, a GOP challenger is working to unseat one of the two Republican representatives in a vote-for-two election. And District 11 has competitive Republican races for both state House and Senate.

Maria Coxon-Smith and Curtis Thompson contributed to this report.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 5 »

Aug 28, 2014, 8:57 am
-1 +0

So I guess Doug Ducey shows is that the way to win an election is to not show up for the debates. sigh

Aug 28, 2014, 8:56 am
-0 +0

I thank Huppenthal and Horne for the excellent work they’ve done outlawing the indoctrination to hate classes. I hope those laws stand for all-time.

That issue aside, I think they are both looney, and perhaps it is time to give someone else a shot at those jobs.

I have a further beef with Horne. I wrote a letter to his office (a real, old-fashioned paper letter) inquiring as to why Frank Atwood hasn’t been executed yet, while other death row inmates who committed their crimes a decade or more later have been executed. I am still waiting for a reply to that letter. I guess I’ll change the name at the top and resend the letter to the new AG once he or she takes office.

Aug 27, 2014, 10:51 am
-2 +2

Cactus Dave wrote:

Doug Ducey is a scumbag who made his fortune cheating low paid kids. He will do the same for other Arizona workers.
  McSally is nothing but a sock puppet for the Koch brothers looking for another govt pension. Interesting how people like McSally assail programs like SNAP that help the working poor as govt handouts while she has never had a private sector job in her life and if elected she will be double dipping so she can get another govt pension.

Raul Grijalva has also never held a private sector job in his life, and he inexplicably keeps getting reelected. Just sayin’

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Joshua Pearson/TucsonSentinel.com

CD2 candidate Martha McSally talks to the crowd.

Note on election returns: Yavapai County results were released Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m., while Cochise County numbers were removed from tallies by state officials because of tabulation problems. Those results were later updated after a recount.

Live election results

Election results

Voter Turnout

Pima County: 31.73%
Statewide: 29.11%