Hundreds of Arizona Republicans gathered to celebrate and lament Tuesday’s election results.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama remained close until the last tossup states passed their electoral votes to Obama.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who was successful in his own bid for re-election, said Obama’s win would generate more partisan separation.
“We needed a partner in the federal government to work with us, not sue us,” Montgomery said. “(Obama) does not have a bipartisan interest.”
Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but Democrats retained their hold on the Senate.
It was a successful night for Arizona Republicans, as Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Snowflake, defeated former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona in an unexpectedly competitive race for Arizona’s vacant Senate seat.
“Decisions will have to be made that won’t be popular … but this state has to have a brighter future,” Flake said to supporters at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Phoenix.
Arizona Republicans celebrated the rejection of Proposition 121, which would have opened primary elections to members of all parties.
Proposition 204, which would have permanently extended a 1-cent sales tax to fund education, also failed.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio secured his sixth term in office, defeating Democrat Paul Penzone in a race separated by about 10 percent of the popular vote.
Arpaio said in a speech that he plans to continue to enforce laws regarding illegal immigration.
“(The federal government) is going to have to put up with me for another eight years,” Arpaio said, though he was re-elected to serve a four-year term.
Gilbert resident Chris Dannemiller came to the GOP election party after working as a poll watcher during the day.
“(Arpaio) is an effective politician who is one of the few that takes risks and gets things done,” he said.
Former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Tempe, leads former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker in the 9th Congressional District by a slim margin.
Thomas Lehman, a senior at Notre Dame High School, said it’s important for young voters to be politically aware.
“We are the future of these elections,” Lehman said.
While addressing the crowd, Gov. Jan Brewer said the energy and “electricity” in the room was proof that the Republican Party did everything it could for this election.
“It doesn’t end tonight,” Brewer said. “We’ve got to turn our country around.”
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