September 6, 2006 - Political party members and some independents will go to the polls Sept. 12 to narrow the field of candidates for state and federal office.

The primary election allows political parities to select their nominee to run in the Nov. 7 general election. Independents may also vote, so long as they declare a party's list of candidates from which they will select.

Many of the candidates running in the primary are unopposed, meaning they will automatically advance to the general. However, several key local races are contested.

As a weekly suburban newspaper, the EXPLORER does not have the staff or resources to offer stories on every race and candidate; there are dozens of races and several dozen candidates.

Instead, the paper is focusing on local races first and making use of the Associated Press for coverage of the other state and federal races.

In this issue, readers will find staff stories about the contested Republican and Democrat primaries for state legislative districts 25 and 26.

District 26 encompasses most of the Northwest and Foothills, including all of Oro Valley, Casas Adobes, Catalina, SaddleBrooke and the eastern half of Marana.

District 25 is a mostly rural district encompassing all of Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, and most of western Pima County. The western half of Marana, the area to the west of Interstate 10, is in District 25 including Continental Ranch and Reserve, old Marana and the new Gladden Farms subdivision. The rapid growth of Marana has made it a key player in District 25.

See the Northwest section for more information on each of the candidates.

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