E.V. legislative races a mix of shoo-ins and underdogs - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

E.V. legislative races a mix of shoo-ins and underdogs

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Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is president of the Arizona state Senate.

Andrew Sherwood is Democratic Party district chairman for Arizona’s Legislative District 18.

Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 4:00 pm | Updated: 4:16 pm, Mon Oct 31, 2011.

The East Valley's legislative races include several shoo-ins and an underdog challenge to Sen. Russell Pearce, the Mesa Republican who authored Arizona's polarizing immigration law.

Democrat Andrew Sherwood's campaign against Pearce is one of the more daring challenges, as District 18 in Mesa is overwhelmingly Republican and SB 1070 remains popular.

Still, Sherwood, a professional dog trainer, is hoping to find energy among the measure's opponents even as Pearce has become a national figure in immigration issues.

Libertarian Andrea Garcia rounds out the race for the northeast Mesa district.

Voters are unlikely to see many changes in state senators in the East Valley.

Three Republican Senate incumbents are unopposed in areas that almost always vote for GOP candidates: District 20's John McComish, District 21's Steve Yarbrough and District 22's Andy Biggs.

District 19's Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, faces Libertarian William Munsil but no Democratic challenger.

In the Tempe-Chandler District 17, Democratic Rep. David Shapira is looking to jump to a Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Meg Burton-Cahill.

He faces Republican Wendy Rogers and Libertarian Garret Chartier-Dickie.

The races for House seats are more hotly contested.

The biggest battle is over District 17, the East Valley district most likely to support Democrats. Rep. Ed Ableser, D-Tempe, is seeking re-election.

Former Tempe Councilman Ben Arredondo is running for the second House seat, along with Republican Donald Hawker, Libertarians Cristian Dumitrescu and Damian Trabel and Green Party candidate Gregor Knauer.

District 18 Republican incumbents Cecil Ash and Steve Court are seeking re-election, facing Democrat Michael Conway and Libertarian Chris A.H. Will. House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, and newcomer Justin Olson are running as Republicans in District 19, facing Democrat Kit Filbey.

Former lawmaker Bob Robson is looking to return to represent District 20 as a Republican, and fellow GOP candidate Jeff Dial is making another attempt for the office.

Democratic incumbent Rae Waters seeks a second term.

District 21 will have two new House members, as Republican incumbent Steve Yarbrough is instead running unopposed for that district's Senate seat, and Republican Ward Nichols is not running again. Republicans Tom Forsee and J.D. Mesnard face Green Party candidate Linda Macias.

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