September 7, 2004
Scottsdale-area Republican voters overwhelmingly stuck with the status quo in the District 8 state Senate and House races, according to unofficial primary election results late Tuesday.
Longtime GOP lawmaker Sen. Carolyn Allen ran away with victory against two-time political hopeful Robert Ditchey, who attempted to cast himself as a more conservative choice than his veteran rival.
Voters also chose Rep. Michele Reagan and her socially conservative counterpart Rep. Colette Rosati to advance to the Nov. 2 General Election. Political newcomer Royce Flora, a fund manager for the state Department of Administration, didn't capture enough votes to advance.
Flora was a frequent target of Rosati campaign mailers and an e-mail campaign among her supporters.
The unofficial results mean that Republican voters in District 8 will continue to have a balance among moderate and conservative leadership, as Reagan and Rosati are philosophically divided on many issues.
The campaigns in District 8 — covering Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Rio Verde — have been among the most heated in the state as candidates exchanged barbs over abortion rights, immigration and gay marriage. Allen, Reagan and Flora unofficially banded together against their more conservative opponents.
"I believe this was the dirtiest campaign that District 8 has ever had run for both the Senate and the House," said Allen, who is seeking her second term in the Senate, and served eight years in the House. "I've lived here 25 years and to see the level to which people will stoop … I guess justice prevails."
Allen will face Democratic challenger Stuart Turnansky and Libertarian Orville Weyrich for the open Senate seat in the general election. Reagan and Rosati face Democratic challengers Nancy Buel and Nancy Stein for the two House seats.
Reagan, who bested Rosati by almost 4,000 votes, attributes her victory to being active in the party for several years. The results show District 8 has a diverse constituency that votes on quality-of-life issues rather than moderate versus conservative ideology, she said. Rosati could not be reached for comment.