Neither Republicans nor Democrats in the newly formed 9th Congressional District were able to reach an overwhelming consensus of votes in Tuesday’s primary elections.
Preliminary results had former State Sen. Kyrsten Sinema ahead in the Democratic primary race with a 12.1 percent margin, while Paradise Valley Councilman Vernon B. Parker claimed the Republican candidacy with 23.1 percent of the vote.
Covering most of Tempe, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, the 9th District was redrawn for this years’ elections following redistricting, creating an opportunity for Democrats in the formerly Republican-controlled district.
Parker and Sinema will now battle for the Congressional seat Nov. 6.
In reference to Sinema, Parker said, “We have two contrasting views of America. We have two contrasting views of the world.”
Parker defeated six other candidates with a mere 2.2 percent margin over runner-up Wendy Rogers, a retired Air Force Lt Col.
With seven candidates in the running, the Republican vote was divided with no candidate gaining a substantial lead.
Parker said he hopes to unify the 9th District Republicans behind his platform this fall.
Sinema defeated candidates David Schapira and Andrei Cherny. Schapira, former minority leader in the Arizona State Senate, came in second with 30.2 percent of the votes while Cherny, former chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, received 27.2 percent.
Schapira supporters gathered at The Canteen on Mill Avenue to hear the results. He urged those who had voted for him in the primary to join him in supporting Sinema in a closing statement.
“We have to ensure that this district turns blue,” Schapira said.
Although Schapira’s journey to Congress has ended for this election season, he said in his address that he still plans to be politically active in the coming months, supporting the grassroots campaigns of others running for the Arizona Legislature.
“We’re not done,” said Schapira. “We’re absolutely not done, because we still have something to prove.”
Most of the candidates in the 26th Legislative District were uncontested in their primaries.
Tempe school board member Mary Lou Taylor and business owner Raymond Speakman each earned less than one-third of votes cast, securing the Republican state house ticket.
Rep. Jeff Flake defeated businessman Wil Cardon by more than 69 percent in the Republican Senate primary.
The 6th Congressional District saw two freshman Republican representatives vie for a contested spot after redistricting.
Ben Quayle conceded to David Schweikert with votes standing at 52.8 percent to 46.9 percent.
Rep. Ron Barber, who won his seat in a special election following former Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s resignation, won the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary.
Former State Senate President Russell Pearce, who was ousted in a special election last November, lost the Republican 26th Legislative District primary to businessman Bob Worsley.
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Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story misattributed information to Republican Congressional Candidate Vernon B. Parker. It has been updated.