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There is truly an excitement in the air as the holiday season begins, but what about the families that need a little extra help?
The recovery of home prices in Arizona appears to have all but stalled.
Desert Vista lineup and swing hands after the National Anthem prior to the D1 girls volleyball state championship between Desert Vista and Hamilton at Mesquite High School on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014
PHOENIX (AP) — Democratic Rep. Ron Barber Tuesday fell short of the votes he needed to overcome Republican Martha McSally's lead in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District race, barring a recount change or the late tally of a small number of outstanding provisional ballots that swings the race his way.
Barber was trailing McSally by 133 votes after Pima County election officials counted about 2,660 remaining ballots from the district Tuesday.
McSally said she was confident her lead would hold.
An estimated 200 conditional provisional ballots could still be counted if voters go to the county recorder's office and show needed identification by Wednesday. Not all of those are in the 2nd District.
McSally is a former Air Force pilot who lost to Barber in 2012 but redoubled her effort this year. National Republicans spent millions of dollars to back her, while national Democrats spent heavily to defend Barber.
If the count holds at less than about 200 votes between the candidates, it triggers an automatic recount. That would happen early next month.
A recount in a statewide race last occurred in 2010, when Proposition 212 failed by just 192 votes after nearly 1.6 million were cast. The results changed the total for each side by 33 votes but did not change the outcome
About 220,000 votes have been cast in the current 2nd District race.
Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Bennett, said the swing in the 2010 race was tiny, and he would expect the same to happen if the Barber-McSally race goes to a recount.
"People should trust in the fact that elections officials will come up with the same number or thereabouts twice," Roberts said. "Our election equipment is something that works very well."
The race is one of only five congressional seats still undecided nationally. Three House seats in California and one in New York also remain too close to call.
Barber picked up 162 votes Monday and was trailing McSally by 179 votes on Tuesday morning. But he picked up just 46 votes after the final batch of verified provisional ballots were counted.
Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn in a statement said the race remained too close to call.
"This is the closest congressional election in Arizona history," she said. "The law calls for an automatic recount in a race this close, and that is where we are headed."
She also noted that nearly 800 provisional ballots were rejected by the county recorder.
McSally's campaign failed in an effort to challenge some provisional ballots on Monday, and both sides have lawyers watching the counting.
She said in a statement that she's grateful for the support she's seen during the weeklong vote-counting.
"There are still ballots left to count, but we are confident that when all ballots are in, our lead will hold," she said. "We will continue to provide oversight of the process until then."
If McSally wins, it will be the only victory out of three Arizona congressional seats held by Democrats that Republicans targeted this year. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema easily won re-election.
Barber had an early lead on election night, but the race swung to McSally early the next day when Cochise County began reporting its results and Barber has never regained the lead.
McSally was 509 votes ahead on Friday, but Barber picked up 168 votes on Sunday and 162 votes Monday, cutting that lead to the current 179. Elections workers counted 5,434 ballots on those days.
McSally and Barber faced off in a similar battle during the 2012 election. Barber trailed for days, finally taking the lead on the Friday after Election Day. The race remained too close to call for another week.
Barber had won a special election to replace his former boss, Rep. Gabby Giffords, just months before the November 2012 election. He was with Giffords the previous year in Tucson when she was shot in the head and ultimately had to step down from her seat. Barber was hit in the thigh and cheek.
PHOENIX (AP) — The vote count in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District seat is shaping up as a near mirror of the 2012 race, when the two candidates didn't find out for more than a week who had won the race.
Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally are keeping a close eye on the emerging vote tally in two southern Arizona counties that make up the district as they remain separated by a razor-thin vote margin.
McSally's lead of 363 votes grew to 509 votes Friday night with new votes counted in Republican-leaning Cochise County and Democrat-leaning Pima County.
McSally is taking 60 percent of the vote in Cochise County, and there are fewer than 1,200 provisional ballots to count here. Barber is taking 52 percent of the Pima County vote, and that county has 24,000 outstanding early and provisional ballots still to count.
Barber consultant Rodd McLeod said the trend is the same as in 2012, when election-night counts showed Barber trailing McSally before surging in late ballots to pull out a late victory.
"With more than 20,000 ballots to go, we're confident that Ron Barber will have been re-elected once the counting is all done," McLeod said.
McSally and Barber faced off in a similar battle during the 2012 election. Barber trailed for days, finally taking the lead on the Friday after Election Day. But the race remained too close to call for another week.
Barber had won a special election to replace his former boss, Rep. Gabby Giffords, just months before the November 2012 election. He was with Giffords at a constituent meet-and-greet in Tucson in January 2011 when a mentally ill man, Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire, killing six and wounding 13 others. Giffords was hit in the head and ultimately had to step down from her seat, while Barber was hit in the thigh and cheek.
McSally is a former Air Force pilot who was making her first run for political office. This year, she has emerged as a more polished candidate. With the swing district up for grabs in a Republican-leaning year, her efforts drew massive outside spending from GOP-leaning groups.
Barber also has benefited this year from a large amount of spending by Democratic groups and from Giffords' PAC.
PHOENIX (AP) — Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber jumped out to early leads in their congressional districts after being targeted by national Republicans and outside groups during the campaign.
Arizona is deciding a full slate of statewide, congressional and local races, many of which were highly competitive heading in to the final hours of the campaign. The closeness of the contests has been reflected in the bombardment of attack ads over the final weeks as Democratic, Republican and special interest groups have spent large amounts of money in Arizona. Here is a look at the ticket, and what's at stake:
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — In many ways, this year's congressional races in Arizona feel like deja vu. The state is again host to some of the nation's most closely watched contests.
One race features a rematch between the same two candidates from the 2012 election. Another race has Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick fighting to keep her job in a vast swing district, a replay of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
All of Arizona's nine congressional seats are being voted on in Tuesday's election, but the races attracting most of the attention are the 1st and 2nd Congressional District contests.
Democratic Rep. Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally are battling again for the Tucson-area 2nd District, while Kirkpatrick is squaring off against former Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, a Republican, in the other race.
Voters have been bombarded with ads as the candidates and outside groups are spending millions to influence the outcome.
In one, McSally mocks Barber's attacks on her, using an actor to facetiously accuse her of disliking puppies. The ad closes in on McSally holding a puppy. "Watch it," she tells the actor.
An ad that featured a crying mother whose daughter had been killed by her stalker accused McSally of supporting gun rights for misdemeanor-convicted stalkers.
It was sponsored by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly. McSally denounced the ad and said she'd been a victim of stalking herself.
Americans for Responsible Solutions then pulled it, saying McSally had reversed her initial position. The group later aired another ad featuring Giffords praising Barber.
Giffords and the issue of gun control have been prominent in the race for the district in which six were killed and 13 were injured in the January 2011 mass shooting at a constituent event.
Giffords and Barber, then an aide for the congresswoman, were wounded in the attack.
"I'm hearing (voters) are looking forward to seeing an advertisement from a car dealership soon because they're just so sick of the political ads," said Barbara Lubin, the spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party.
"It remains to be seen how much extra additional spending adds to either the turnout of the overall voters or really changes the results," Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert said.
In the 1st Congressional District, Kirkpatrick is fighting a tough battle with the well-known Tobin to keep her seat.
Kirkpatrick won the seat against Republican Jonathan Paton by only a few thousand votes last time around. That was after she'd lost it in 2010 to another conservative Republican.
But Tobin was late to the game after a hard-fought, three-way battle in the Republican primary.
In Maricopa County, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is facing challenger Wendy Rogers, a Republican who lost in the GOP primary in 2012 in the district.
Sinema has raised much more money than Rogers, a retired Air Force officer who has refused to publicly debate the incumbent. Democrats are confident Sinema will win, but Republicans are hoping anti-Democratic sentiment on Tuesday will give them a chance to pick up a seat.
Arizona has six other congressional districts that are holding elections Tuesday:
3rd District: Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva is facing off with Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer. Grijalva has held that seat for six terms and is likely to win a seventh.
4th District: Republican Rep. Paul Gosar will also likely keep his seat, which encompasses rural areas west and northwest of Phoenix. His opponent is Democrat Mikel Weisser.
5th District: The district spans from Gilbert to Chandler to parts of Mesa. Republican Matt Salmon won the seat in 2012 and is facing Democrat James Woods this year.
6th District: Republican David Schweikert holds the seat that includes parts of Maricopa County and the southeastern Phoenix suburbs. Schweikert is running again, this time against Democrat John W. Williamson.
7th District: Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, is the heavy favorite for the seat vacated by the retirement of longtime Rep. Ed Pastor. Gallego is a Harvard-educated, Iraq War veteran from a single-parent home who was the first in his family to graduate from college. He won the August primary, easily putting him on track to win Tuesday in the heavily Democratic district.
8th District: Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican, represents this district northwest of Phoenix. He is challenged by Stephen Dolgos, a Democrat.
Phoenix Mud Run
Marcos de Niza (5-3) bested Westwood 14-7 to hand the Warriors (7-1) their first loss of the season.
Avery Mathews, 2, swings during the Intro to Motor Skills class at Great Play of Chandler on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014.
Headaches affect 57 to 82 percent of teenagers, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. These headaches are caused by multiple factors, including the act of chewing gum. A recent study published by the Pediatric Neurology journal reported, “Excessive daily gum-chewing may be associated with chronic headache and should get more attention in the medical literature.”
The weather is finally cooling down, calling us all out of hibernation and into the beautiful outdoors. What better way to celebrate the change of seasons than with a family day in the pumpkin patch? Here are five festivals worth a look:
Highland coach Pete Wahlheim may be biased, but he thinks Hawks senior Josh Chadwick is the best running back in the state. It would be hard for Mountain View coach had DeGrenier not to think so, too, after Friday night.
Two hours before kickoff on Friday, the homecoming festivities were in full swing. Pop up games, music, and refreshments lined the Mountain Pointe parking lot. Students, dressed in the theme of the night, USA, milled around waiting for the gates to open.
Poston Butte’s defense was dominant on Friday night, keeping visiting Dobson High School off the board despite the gritty Mustangs’ best efforts.
Electing a replacement for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer tops the list of items to watch in Arizona's November general election. Voters also will choose a new secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and top schools official.
Chandler and Centennial, the universal No. 1 or No. 2 ranked teams in their respective divisions, lived up to the hype in Friday night's season opener.
I got the chance recently to chat with Thomas Carter, director of “When the Game Stands Tall.”
Inspirational sports movies are not uncommon, but the 12-year, 151-game winning streak of the De La Salle High School football team — the longest consecutive winning streak in American team sports history — is extraordinary. That story and the story of Coach Bob Ladouceur comes to the big screen Friday, Aug. 22, in director Thomas Carter’s film “When the Game Stands Tall,” based on Neil Hayes’ book of the same name.
Lost in all the big statewide races in Arizona's primary election are hard-fought congressional battles in which Democrats are trying to clinch a Phoenix-area seat and Republicans are vying for the chance to unseat Democratic incumbents in three districts.
When I first moved to the Valley of the Sun in 2000, the PBS TV channel, KAET, was a “powerhouse.” The best TV programming on local television. “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” gave the best (unbiased) analysis of the day’s news events. “Masterpiece Theatre” and “Masterpiece Mystery” were “must watch” week in and week out. Wonderful foreign films were shown that could be seen nowhere else on the Valley of the Sun’s TV channels. We viewers didn’t know it be we were seeing the “beginning of the end” for KAET.
There’s a rhythm inherent to good distance running, a lovely cadence when the feet tap the asphalt or dirt or sand or treadmill belt at just the right intervals and the arms swing back and forth in perfect sync.
Whether you were there when The Motels first burst onto the music scene in the early '80s or are just rediscovering them again, it's hard to deny that singer Martha Davis is one of MTVs first leading ladies and one of the most charismatic female performers in rock.