Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
With 100% of ballots counted (excluding provisional ballots yet to be verified), the Arizona Secretary of State has the unofficial results as of 11:12:59 p.m. on June 12, 2012 AZ - Election Results:
Ron Barber (D) 52.02% 101,559
Jesse Kelly (R) 45.37% 88,569
Charlie Manolakis (GRN) 2.30% 4,482
Total voter turnout in CD 8 was 47.13%, most of which came in record returns of early mail-in ballots before Election Day.
Turnout in the two precincts in Pinal County (Saddlebrooke) was 67.11%, which Jesse Kelly won by only 556 votes, down from his 1,115 vote margin over Gabrielle Giffords in the 2010 general election. This was Saddlebrooke's last Tea Party hurrah -- these precincts will not be part of the new CD 2. Buh-Bye.
Turnout in the five precincts in Santa Cruz County was 54.74%, which Ron Barber won with 56.44% of the relatively small vote. These precincts will also not be part of the new CD 2.
Turnout in Cochise County was a surprisingly weak 31.36%, which Jesse Kelly won by 2,057 votes, down from his 3,950 vote margin over Gabrielle Giffords in the 2010 general election. Both political parties have their work cut out for them in Cochise County, but have room to grow voter turnout in November.
Turnout in Pima County was 50.40%, which Ron Barber won by a solid 15,316 votes. More of the liberal blue island of the City of Tucson will be included in the new CD 2. Pima County voter turnout in the 2010 midterm election was 65.54%. Pima County voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election was 79.70%.
The 6% GOP voter edge in CD 8 will be reduced to a negligible 1% in the competitive new CD 2. The percentage of registered Republicans decreases from 37 percent in CD 8 to 34.7 percent in the new CD 2. The number of registered Democrats increases from the current 31.9 percent in CD 8 to 34.1 in the new CD 2.
Jesse Kelly is now twice defeated and faces a less favorable district than he did in 2010. There have been persistent rumors, reflected in the reporting in Southern Arizona newspapers, that Martha McSally may have played a role in undermining Kelly's support among Republicans, particularly in Cochise County. The McSally gambit was "vote for Ron Barber now, elect me in the GOP primary in August."
I question whether Kelly will stay in the GOP primary for CD 2 at this point. The smart GOP money is going to flee to someone less toxic than Jesse Kelly, a fresh face. McSally fits the bill. Should Kelly drop out, it would clear the path for Martha McSally who would then face only a political newcomer in Mark Koskiniemi. I prefer a Kelly-McSally steel cage match to force them to expend their campaign cash in the GOP primary.
I would expect that Dr. Matt Heinz, state representative from LD 29 and the only other Democrat in the CD 2 primary, will withdraw now. He is speaking today at the Northside Democrats Club at Noon.
Some other losers Tuesday night: state senator "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori, who elected to run for the state senate seat in the new LD 10 rather than run for Congress in the CD 2 GOP primary, claiming that "he's seen polls that show Kelly is well ahead of Barber and likely to win the special election." Right. The only polls Frank saw were the GOP CD 8 special election primary results where he finished a distant third behind Kelly and McSally. Nobody likes likes you, Frank -- nobody. The 'dirty effin' hippies' now get to decide your fate, Frank.
Another loser is the Arizona Daily Star's former talentless hack political reporter, Daniel Scarpinato, who somehow fell upwards to land a job with the RNCC after blowing a tailor-made election for Jonathan "Payday" Paton in 2010 by losing to the political neophyte Jesse Kelly in the GOP primary. He had unlimited funds to run Kelly's negative attack campaign from the RNCC, Karl Rove's Americans Crossroads PAC, and Koch brothers front groups American Action Network and FreedomWorks, and still couldn't win in a leans-GOP district.
Scarpinato recently suggested that Ron Barber should refund his district director salary to Southern Arizonans. I think maybe the RNCC should be asking Scarpinato for a refund after all of the money that they have pissed away on this talentless hack.
On second thought, maybe they should keep him around so we can keep winning elections forever.
Finally, RNC Committeeman Bruce Ash, who has been posting nastygrams in the comments to posts on this blog, owes the people whom he has offended an apology. Once again, Ash was proven wrong about everything, keeping his perfect record intact.