Crane wins CD2 congressional seat; O'Halleran concedes redrawn district
Flipping a seat to the Republicans, Eli Crane has won the CD 2 congressional district that stretches across much of Northern and Eastern Arizona. Democratic incumbent Tom O'Halleran conceded the race after it became apparent Thursday night that he had no path to victory.
Crane was leading 54-46% in the largely rural district, which covers all or part of nine of Arizona's 15 counties. O'Halleran had 128,000 votes to the GOP challenger's 150,000.
Crane, a Navy veteran and the CEO of Bottle Breacher, a Tucson company that sells bottle openers made from bullets, was backed by former President Donald Trump and his allies.
"I will always be your voice," Crane said in a press release. "The America First movement has once again sent a clear message tonight to the people of Arizona and the nation. Now begins the real work of getting this country we love back on the right track."
Crane said that the Democratic congressman "graciously called to concede the race" on Thursday evening.
O'Halleran was first elected in 2016, winning three terms. A former Republican state legislator, serving terms in both the state House and Senate from 2001 to 2009, the ex-Chicago police detective walked away from the GOP in 2014.
"Whether they voted by mail or in person, Arizonans turned out and participated in our democracy this year. And an essential part of that democracy is a peaceful transfer of power, at every level of government," the Democrat said.
"There’s no denying that my team and I are incredibly disappointed in these results, but I thank the families of Arizona's 1st District for giving me the opportunity to serve you these last six years."
"I thank my opponent for a well-fought and challenging race and wish him all the best in his service to Arizona’s 2nd District."
After the 2020 Census, what had been CD 1 was redrawn as CD 2, with the new boundaries making the far-flung district lean more Republican.
While the U.S. Constitution does not require members of the House of Representatives to reside in the districts they are elected to serve, Crane will become one of the rare members of Congress who don't live in their districts.
Running from the Utah border and Grand Canyon down through Flagstaff and the White Mountains, the new CD 2 covers parts of Pinal County, including Florence and Coolidge.