First-time candidates Jesse Kelly and Terri Proud have found their way to the November ballot, earning victories in Republican races at the Aug. 25 primary election.
Kelly, the Continental Ranch resident who works for his father's construction company, defeated State Sen. Jonathan Paton – targeted by the Democrats and backed by powerful Republicans — by 6,031 votes in a four-man race for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 8. Kelly garnered 48.45 percent of the votes cast, Paton 41.67 percent.
Kelly now faces two-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in November.
In conceding the result, Paton told Kelly "that I will do everything I can to make sure we defeat Gabby Giffords in November.
"There is no time for hurt feelings, or egos or bickering," Paton said. "We must come together as Republicans, as Arizonans and as Americans. We must stop this Congress and this President, and I am as committed now to that goal as ever. I encourage all of you to not give up.
"It's no secret that the Democrats had hoped and prayed that this primary would leave us fractured and splintered," Paton continued. "But I have news for them: It has only made us stronger and tougher; united and more determined. And they are about to find that out."
In Arizona House District 26, Rep. Vic Williams picked up the Republican Party's top slot in November, with Proud taking the second berth from Wade McLean. Proud held a nearly five-point margin over McLean, the more moderate candidate and former Marana Unified School District educator.
Williams and Proud now contest with Democratic Rep. Nancy Young Wright for two seats in the district, which runs from River Road north into SaddleBrooke, and takes in much of the Northwest east of I-10.
Before the election, Williams noted he had been endorsed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, and criticized by former District 26 Republican Rep. Pete Hershberger.
"I hope Pete Hershberger will work with me to ensure that whoever serves in the Legislature will first think of the region, instead of partisanship," Williams said in early August. "Why is he not mentioning Nancy Young Wright, who I do not believe is a reasonable or centrist voice for Southern Arizona?
"I challenge Wade McLean and Terri Proud to serve the interests of this legislative district, and we will work together as a Republican team, whoever comes through this primary, so we have an effective voice in Phoenix," Williams said before the vote.
"Now we face our toughest challenge: Nancy Young Wright," Proud said after her victory. "I'll tell you now that it's going to be a tough battle to secure that second seat in the House of Representatives, but one we can win."
In House District 25, incumbent Democratic Rep. Patricia Fleming earned a spot on the November ballot. She's joined by Ruben Ortega. Ken Davis was third. Fleming and Ortega face Republicans Rep. David Stevens and Peggy Judd in a bid for two seats.
On the District 25 Senate side, Republican Gail Griffin defeated Craig Smith by a 63-37 count, gaining the GOP berth in November with incumbent Democratic Sen. Manuel Alvarez.
District 25 encompasses Marana west of I-10, areas south of the Pinal County line and Picture Rocks.
Unofficially, Pima County had voter turnout of 35.22 percent in the primary election, according to the office of Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. The county has 477,959 registered voters. Of those, 168,342 cast ballots.
Contested local races:
U.S. Representative, District 8, Republican, 1 advances:
Jesse Kelly, 43,097 votes, 48.45 percent; Jonathan Paton, 37,066 votes, 41.67 percent; Brian Miller, 6,613 votes, 7.44 percent; Jay Quick, 1,933 votes, 2.17 percent.
House District 26, Republican, 2 advance:
Vic Williams, 15,584 votes, 41.3 percent; Terri Proud, 11,902 votes, 31.54 percent; Wade McLean, 10,110 votes, 26.79 percent.
House District 25, Democrat, 2 advance:
Patricia Fleming, 7,658 votes, 43.02 percent; Ruben Ortega, 6,343 votes, 35.63 percent; Ken Davis, 3,648 votes, 20.49 percent.
Senate District 25, Republican, 1 advances:
Gail Griffin, 9,551 votes, 62.72 percent; Craig Smith, 5,608 votes, 36.83 percent.