At least two of the Pinal County Supervisors on a three-member board will be new blood, according to early election results.
Bryan Martyn, a Republican, had a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Mary Shope and independent Elliott Fisher with most of the votes counted. Martyn would replace Sandie Smith, a 16-year Democratic incumbent who has overseen booming development in the northeast part of the county.
“The voters have spoken and they have recognized that Pinal county is one of the fastest growing in America and that we need new leadership,” he said.
Pete Rios, a Democrat, held a commanding lead over Scott Venegas to be the new supervisor in the southern part of the county. Rios stepped down from the state legislature to run for a seat left open by Lionel Ruiz.
The race between Democratic incumbent David Snider and Republican Tom Hollenbach was too close to call for the third seat on the board.
With the majority of the old guard of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors stepping aside, it guarantees a new look in January on the three-member board.
Smith and Ruiz vacated their seats and opened up the race in one of the top-five fastest growing counties in the nation.
Smith’s district is pivotal in the county. The bulk of the growth has occurred in the northeast part of the county, and supervisors have most of the say in their own districts.
The Republican primary contest in Smith’s District 2 pitted Todd House against political newcomer Bryan Martyn.
House, who has run against Smith, lost to Martyn by a margin of 47 percent to 28 percent. Danielle Tomerlin, who was self funded in the race, pulled in 15 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, Shope had an uncontested route through the Democratic primary, and Fisher, an independent, also advanced to the general election.
Martyn showed some impressive fundraising for a seat that has always been held by a Democrat.
Martyn raised more than $40,000 for his bid, Shope ran her campaign on $7,000 and Fisher raised several hundred dollars.
But a third of Martyn’s campaign funds have come from developers, something his Democratic opponent criticized him for.
Martyn returned campaign contributions from developer George Johnson after a spill occurred in Queen Creek by Johnson Utilities, a water and wastewater provider in the area. Some of his campaign contributions were also linked to a company that paid for a lavish trip to Stan Griffis, a former Pinal county administrator who was imprisoned for embezzling county funds.