The Arizona results are in for the 2018 Midterm Election
It was a nail-biting night for Democrats and Republicans watching the Arizona Senate race. As of 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, the Arizona Senate race between Republican Representative Martha McSally and Democrat Representative Kyrsten Sinema still has not been called.
In the state of Arizona, Sinema and McSally were battling to become the first female Arizona senator in history.
The two candidates were running vastly different campaigns and disagreed on key issues, including health care, immigration and border walls.
Republican Rep. McSally had a slight lead in the Arizona Senate race and the results were too close to call as of 12 a.m. local Arizona time. The last midterm election, which took place in 2016, had a drastically different outcome then this year’s race. The late Republican John McCain beat Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick by 13 percent and over 300,000 more votes according to the Arizona Secretary of State website.
Regardless of the outcome of the Arizona Senate race, the state will have its first female Senator.
35 U.S. Senate seats, including two in special elections, were up for election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Heading into this midterm election, the Republican Party held a 51-seat majority in the chamber. Democrats held 47 seats, and the remaining two seats in the Senate were held by independents who caucus with the Democratic Party.
Republicans are projected to retain control of the U.S. Senate, according to New York Times as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 6.
U.S. House of Representatives
Arizona House District 3, which includes Tucson, was won by incumbent Democrat Raul Grijalva. Grijalva defeated his Republican challenger Nicolas Pierson.
Out of the nine congressional districts in the state of Arizona, five Democrats and four Republicans won their respective districts. The key U.S. House races in Arizona include House Districts 1 and 2, who were won by Democrats.
Seventy-five highly competitive seats were up for the U.S. House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm elections. It was projected that Democrats needed to flip at least 23 Republican-held seats to retake the House according to the New York Times.
218 seats were needed to control the House.
While votes were still being counted at the time of publishing this article, the Democrats are projected to be in control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Before the midterm election, Republicans held 235 seats and the Democrats held 193 seats.
If the Democrats prevail, this would be the first time in eight years that Democrats have been in control of the House.
Republican Steve Gaynor Wins Secretary of State
Steve Gaynor, a candidate that ran on a business background, has won himself over by Arizonans on his premise that Arizona needs a shakeup in how administrators and traditional politicians have handled the state and its decisions in the last couple of years.
As a native Arizonan, he ran on a premise that locals know and can fix the issues better than transplants who move here strictly for political gain and prosperity. His grassroots movement has taken hold, and we will see over the next couple of years if he can make the impact that he is promising to make.
Republican Kimberly Yee wins Arizona State Treasurer
Native Arizonan Kimberly Yee won the Arizona State Treasurer seat on Tuesday night. The fiscally conservative Republican currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader.
Firsts aren’t a new thing for Yee, as she looks to take Arizona to new heights fiscally, as this has been a serious issue over the last decade since the recession.
She was the first Asian-American candidate to be elected to serve in the Arizona State Legislature.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
The race for state Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state’s highest elected education office, appears to be too close to call as earliest vote reporting indicates that Republican Frank Riggs is slightly leading by less than one percent than Democrat Kathy Hoffman as of 12:00 a.m. local Arizona time.
Renewable Energy Initiative Prop 127 Fails to Pass
Arguably the hottest initiative on the Arizona ballot was Proposition 127, also known as the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative, which failed to pass on Tuesday.
The passage of Prop 127 would have amended the Arizona Constitution to mandate that utility companies within the state must acquire a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources annually.
The rejection of the proposition means that Arizona will retain its current goals for renewable energy that require electricity companies to acquire 15 percent of total energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Had the initiative passed, beginning in 2020, energy companies would have had to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources until they hit 50 percent their energy being renewable by 2030.
According to officials who opposed the initiative, such as the Pima County Republican Party, there was concern over the initiative’s lack of flexibility in its goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.
“That’s a good thing ... It would’ve raised electric rates substantially here in Arizona, and so we’re quite happy about that,” said David Eppihimer, Chairman for the Pima County Republican Party.
Prior to the election, Proposition 127 was supported by groups such the Arizona Democratic Party.
"We're going to sit down with city leaders, talk about it and come up with a strategy," said Ann Kirkpatrick, who promised to make Arizona a solar state starting with Tucson.
As of 12:00 a.m. Tuesday night, a reported 69.59 percent of Arizona voters chose no on Proposition 127, 30.41 percent chose yes.
Other Proposition Results
Arizonans chose to approve Proposition 125, also known as the Adjustments to Elected Officials’ and Corrections Officer's Retirement Plans Amendment, with 52.3 percent of voters voting “yes” as of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 6.
The approval of the amendment means that a change will be made to the Arizona constitution that will allow state lawmakers to adjust the retirement pension plans of correctional officers, probation officers, surveillance officers and elected officials based on the calculated cost of living.
Currently, these pension plans are based on fixed increases to benefits.
The passage of Prop 125 does not automatically adjust these pension plans. However, it does give the Arizona State Legislature the authority to change the current pension policy.
Proposition 126, or the Prohibit New or Increased Taxes on Services Initiative, passed with 65.7 percent of Arizona voters voting “yes” as of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 6.
With the approval of the initiative, the Arizona constitution was amended to prohibit state or city officials from adding new or increasing existing taxes on services within the state, including sales tax.
In addition to sales taxes, lawmakers are now also barred from increasing taxes on personal activities, financial activities and healthcare.
Proposition 305, or the Expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Account Referendum, failed to pass Tuesday with 66.9 percent of Arizona voters voting “no” as of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 6.
Currently, Arizona students with disabilities or students who meet other certain criteria are eligible to apply for an Empowerment Scholarship Account.
ESAs allow for students to un-enroll from public school and attend a private school or be homeschooled, using the ESA to help fund this switch.
The passage of Proposition 305 would have allowed for the expansion of the program and made all Arizona public school students eligible to apply for an ESA.
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Arizona voters chose to approve Proposition 306, or the Clean Election Account Uses and Commission Rulemaking Measure, with 55.9 percent of voters voting “yes” as of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 6.
The measure prohibited candidates in future elections from taking money from their public financing accounts and giving it to political parties or tax-exempt organizations that participate in candidate elections.
Proposition 306 also changes how rules are proposed or implemented by the Citizens Clean Election Commission.
The commission must now gain approval from the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council. Approval must be obtained before the commission votes on rules.
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