Bone up on the Valley’s hottest political bouts with this handy Election Day handicapper.
Total Arizona Registered Voters: 3,100,575
Republican: 1,113,123 (35.9%)
Democrat: 935,098 (30.16%)
Independent: 1,025,634 (33.08%)
THE FIGHT DOCTOR: Valley political consultant Dr. Michael O’Neil (O’Neil Associates)
MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF
Will Sheriff Joe meet his Waterloo? Or will the 80-year-old lawman survive his toughest challenge yet?
HEIGHT: Five-time elected incumbent; law enforcement superstar
REACH: Get-off-my-lawn types; border enforcement advocates.
GLASS JAW?: Poor sex-crime arrest rate; “birther” hijinks
HEIGHT: Former Phoenix PD sergeant; director of Silent Witness protection program
REACH: Voters suffering from Sheriff Joe fatigue.
GLASS JAW?: Has about 1/100th of the name recognition of his opponent.
THE FIGHT DOCTOR SAYS: Penzone is a credible candidate, but “any Sheriff Joe election is essentially a referendum on Sheriff Joe.”
A seasoned Mormon congressman and ex-Surgeon General vie for John Kyl’s seat.
HEIGHT: Six-term U.S. Congressman; former Goldwater honcho
REACH: Fiscal conservatives; East Valley homers
GLASS JAW?: Perceived “professional politician” stigma.
HEIGHT: Former U.S. Surgeon General (2002-2006); Purple Heart honoree
REACH: Hispanics and moderates; Tucson and Southern Arizona voters.
GLASS JAW?: He’s a Democrat. This is Arizona.
THE FIGHT DOCTOR SAYS: Flake is the favorite, but “he suffered from $7 million of negative campaigning” by primary foe Will Cardon. Upset on the table.
PINAL COUNTRY SHERIFF
Arizona’s other high-profile sheriff emerges from controversy to run for re-election.
HEIGHT: First Republican sheriff in Pinal County history
REACH: Border-protection minded Pinalians; statewide profile from “build the dang fence” ads.
GLASS JAW?: Scurrilous outing by gay ex-lover and half-naked self-portraits may
conceivably haunt him
HEIGHT: One-time Ohio deputy; owns Mesa-based Taylor Made Security
REACH: May have greater appeal with Independents, the largest voting bloc in Pinal County.
GLASS JAW?: Never elected to office, he’s an unknown commodity... which might be an asset in this race.
THE FIGHT DOCTOR SAYS: Look out for Independent candidate Ty Morgan, a 30-year PCSD officer.
ARIZONA SENATE – DISTRICT 26
Will the AZ GOP hold onto its super-majority in the senate and house? Watch this race.
HEIGHT: Current state senator; defeated Russell Pearce in a much-publicized 2011 recall election
REACH: Willingness to take on fellow Republican Pearce bodes well in Democrat-majority Tempe.
GLASS JAW?: District 26 lies mostly outside his Mesa Mormon power-base.
HEIGHT: Currently serves in Arizona House of Representatives; pursuing Ph.D. in social work
REACH: “Progressive Mormon grad student” brand plays well to campus-area voters.
GLASS JAW?: Took guff for his call to formally apologize for CIA involvement in the 1973 coup in Chile.
THE FIGHT DOCTOR SAYS: The GOP super-majority in the Senate is “history” if Lewis doesn’t pull an upset.
U.S. CONGRESS – DISTRICT 9
Two minority candidates duke it out in the Valley’s lone competitive congressional race.
HEIGHT: Special Assistant to President George H.W. Bush; Paradise Valley councilman
REACH: Well-heeled conservatives; would be first African-American congressman from Arizona.
GLASS JAW?: PV power-base mostly outside Tempe/Mesa/Scottsdale district boundaries.
HEIGHT: Elected Arizona state senate (2010); law professor at ASU
REACH: The youth vote; would be first openly bisexual member of Congress.
GLASS JAW?: According to O’Neil, the GOP will “dredge up older [left wing] statements before she got circumspect with her verbage.”
THE FIGHT DOCTOR SAYS: Dead even. “I get the sense this is a moderate district.”
With a helping hand from ASU, Downtown Phoenix’s iconic Westward Ho is poised to emerge from self-exile. Are brighter days ahead? ...
Where the Cameras Aren’t
Lacking a tax incentive program for film and TV production, Arizona loses the economic equivalent of a Super Bowl every year. Will the Grand Canyon state ever be ready for its close-up? ...
Faced with failed attempts at legislative change, Arizona nonprofits preach “positive peer pressure” as a means to curb bullying in local schools. ...
The Terrifying Ten
Boo! This Halloween season, PHOENIX magazine rounds up the angriest, vainest, freakiest, most altogether scary Arizonans. ...
God and Government
How much power do religious-interest groups really have at the Arizona Capitol? ...