Republican candidates for Arizona governor

The republican candidates for Arizona governor spoke and answered questions during the monthly SaddleBrooke Republican Club meeting on May 14. The candidates running are, from left to right, Ken Bennett, Doug Ducey, Christine Jones, Al Melvin, Frank Riggs, and Scott Smith.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

The ballot set to run in the August Primary Election took shape in Arizona on May 28, as candidates worked to submit the required signatures to officially run.

Congressional races

In Tucson, two federal races are already gaining national attention, as Rep. Ron Barber, looks to keep his seat in Congressional District 2. Barber, who is running for a second term, will face one of three Republican challengers, which includes retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, business owner Shelley Kais and retired Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Wooten.

McSally is the front runner in the Republican race, having lost to Barber in 2012.

Congressional District 1 looks to be a heated race as well, as Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is fighting to keep her seat as she looks to face a competitive General Election.

Running in the CD1 primary is State Reps. Adam Kwasman and Andy Tobin, along with businessman Gary Kiehne, all of which submitted the required signatures last week.

Kiehne is already in damage control mode early in the race after comments he made at a debate stating Democrats are guilty of most mass shootings. While Kiehne has apologized, opponents have called for him to drop out.

In Congressional District 3, incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva will face Republican opponent Gabriela Saucedo Mercer in the November General Election.

At the state level, plenty of races look to be competitive in both the Primary and General elections.


Looking to take over the state’s top position, seven Republicans filed the necessary paperwork to run for governor. The candidates include current Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey, former GoDaddy Executive Christine Jones, Frank Riggs, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sen. Al Melvin, of SaddleBrooke.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the lone Democrat, Fred Duval.

The General Election winner will replace Gov. Jan Brewer, who is not running after already serving two terms.

Secretary of State

Former Attorney General Terry Goddard is the lone Democrat running for the position currently held by Bennett, who is running for governor. Goddard ran for governor in 2012.

On the Republican side, Wil Cardon, Justin Pierce and Michele Reagan will be running in the Primary.

Attorney General

Republican incumbent Tom Horne has filed to run for reelection, but faces a Primary Election challenger in Mark Brnovich.

In running for his second term as attorney general, Horne continues to fight old accusations of campaign finance fraud, while facing new accusations of requiring his office staff to manage his reelection efforts. Opponents have called for Horne to halt reelection efforts.

State Senate

In Tucson races, while District 9 is easy for incumbent Sen. Steve Farley, who faces no Republican challengers, the District 11 race will be watched closely.

The seat is currently held by Sen. Melvin, who is running for governor.

Jo Holt is the sole Democrat running, and will face either Scott Bartle or Rep. Steve Smith, who are running in the Republican Primary.

This is Holt’s second attempt to win the senate seat, while Smith ran for state representative in 2012 instead of running for the senate after district boundaries were redrawn.

State Representative

In District 9, incumbent Republican Ethan Orr will face Democrat candidates Randy Friese and District 9 incumbent Rep. Victoria Steele. There are two seats up for election.

In District 11, with Rep. Smith and Rep. Kwasman running in other races, the competition is wide open. Lone Democrat Holly Lyon will face the Republican winner of the primary, which is between Vince Leach, Jo Grant and Mark Finchem.

Election dates

Candidates will be working hard for early votes, as early ballots will go out to voters on July 31. The Primary Election is Aug. 26.

The voter registration deadline for the Primary Election in July 28. For more information, visit the Secretary of State’s website at

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