In the Northwest Valley, voters have one primary election and two general election races to keep an eye on.
In Legislative District 21, which encompasses much of the former LD 9, including the communities of Sun City, El Mirage, Youngtown, and parts of Peoria and Surprise, several Democrats are registered to run against Republican incumbents.
Married couple Michael Tarrats and Sheri Van Horsen, along with Carol Lokare, hope to unseat legislative veterans Sen. Rick Murphy, Rep. Debbie Lesko and Rep. Rick Gray, saying they each think their Republican rivals and other members of the Legislature have not done enough to attract business to the state while making cuts to assistance programs.
“We’ve been doing this together for the last 10 years,” Tarrats said of he and Van Horsen. And after encountering the same issues year after year, they decided to run together this year — he for the Senate and his wife for the House.
Van Horsen said the Legislature has spent too much time on “frivolous” legislation, but it was Lesko’s birth control bill during the last session that really spurred her to run. Much of the legislation is based more on the ideology of politicians rather than what is best for the state, she said, pointing to birther legislation, the Fiesta Bowl controversy and SB 1070 as examples.
“All of that is very upsetting to people who are really suffering,” Van Horsen said.
As for Lesko, she moved into the LD 21 jurisdiction after redistricting left her former Glendale home out of that area by six blocks. She said she wanted to continue representing the people she has known for the last four years during her time in the House.
Over in LD 22, which covers Sun City West and parts of Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise, Sen. Judy Burges is running uncontested for re-election to the seat she took over from former Sen. Scott Bundgaard. Not having to do as much campaigning feels “a little strange,” Burges said.
The GOP House race in the district will be another story because it features a hotly contested run for two seats among Republicans Jeanette Dubreil, Phil Lovas and David Livingston.
Livingston, who considers himself the “business candidate” because of his experience owning a financial advisory firm, said now is the time to run because he and his wife, who is running for the Peoria school board, are empty nesters and have the time in their lives to give back to the community.
“I’m a small business owner, I’m not a politician,” Livingston said, expecting the race will be a close one.
Dubreil said she her campaign is in a great position and she has been “humbled” by the amount of support she has received from people she has built relationships with in the community.
All three candidates know each other well, since all three were nominated to fill Burges’ seat when she moved to the Senate.
Lovas, who won that nomination for the House, said each candidate will work hard until the votes come in August.