Many primary races in Arizona today, including Federal Congressional and Senate candidates from all parties, but this is the race that everyone is watching:
U.S. Senate, Republican primary: U.S. Sen. John McCain is seeking his sixth term, with challengers Kelli Ward and Clair Van Steenwyk hoping to cap McCain’s Senate tenure at the nearly 30 years already under his belt.
Ward is running to McCain’s right, trying to appeal to the party’s most reliable base: very conservative voters. She’s tried to paint him as a Washington insider no longer beholden to his constituents.
In the campaign’s closing days, Ward made an issue of McCain’s age — he turned 80 the day before primary day — and suggested he might not live to finish another six-year term. McCain’s allies have pointed to the senator’s widespread travel and busy calendar, saying they have seen no signs of him slowing down.
Van Steenwyk has been a sideline in the campaign, with neither of his opponents paying him much heed.
According to Breitbart, this is a very close race:
Dr. Kelli Ward may end up pulling off a surprise victory against longtime incumbent Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Tuesday, as new polling from Breitbart News Network and Gravis Marketing shows a razor thin lead for McCain.
Ward, a former state senator who stepped down from that post to focus on the U.S. Senate race, trails McCain with Arizona Republicans by just four points heading into election day. Ward gets 33 percent in the latest Breitbart/Gravis poll compared to McCain’s 37 percent. Twenty-three percent of the likely GOP primary voters are undecided walking into election day.
Another race of national interest:
Maricopa County sheriff, Republican primary: Three Republicans are trying to topple Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from the perch he has held for the last 23 years.
Dan Saban, Marsha Ann Hill and Wayne Baker are in the hunt in a race that is all about Arpaio: his long tenure in office, his toll on the taxpayer purse and — thanks to a federal judge’s ruling earlier this month — his vulnerability to federal criminal charges.
Arpaio has long relished the title of “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” This election could test the strength of his political Teflon.
According to the Arizona Tri-Valley Dispatch:
Arpaio is 84 but says he’s not ready for retirement, insisting his ties with Maricopa County voters who have elected him six consecutive times will overcome a cascade of negative publicity from his legal troubles and give him a win against two retired law enforcement challengers and a fourth candidate in an Aug. 30 Republican primary.
He has raised nearly $10 million in campaign cash aimed at helping him keep his grip over law enforcement one of the most populous counties in the country, much of it from people living outside Arizona.
If Arpaio wins the primary, he may have a tough battle in the general election in November.
Both of these races put a spotlight on a matter of national interest, and one that figures prominently in the 2016 Presidential race – illegal immigration and immigration reform.
For detailed information on the Arizona races, see the Arizona Secretary of State website.