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.”
The Terrifying Ten
Boo! This Halloween season, PHOENIX magazine rounds up the angriest, vainest, freakiest, most altogether scary Arizonans. ...
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. ...
While Arizona’s marijuana advocates battle for the November 2016 ballot with two different legalization initiatives, Arizona’s anti-legalization faction prepares for war. ...