Gila County’s fastest-growing political party is not a party at all, according to recently released figures from Secretary of State Ken Bennett.
The “other” category, which includes Independents and those not affiliated with a political party, marks the most quickly growing in both the county and the state. Increased “others” accounted for 55 percent of the newly registered voters statewide.
Gila County gained 81 new registered voters from March to June, but “others” grew by 193. Democrats suffered a loss of 178 locally while Republicans gained 38.
The county now has 29,641 registered voters.
Overall, the state gained 27,000 additional voters as the July 26 deadline to register for the Aug. 24 primary moves closer.
“I’m pleased to see our registration numbers begin to climb once more,” said Bennett in a press release. “This trend should continue as voter interest builds in anticipation of the upcoming primary and general elections.
Statewide, all four recognized parties — Republican, Democratic, Libertarian and Green — saw gains. Of those four, Republicans are the most quickly growing, now comprising 36 percent of active registered voters. Democrats comprise 33 percent of voters statewide.
The Libertarian party added 322 additional members, up to 24,000, and the Green Party grew by 121 members, up to 4,500.
In Gila County, Republicans now comprise 37 percent of registered voters, and Democrats 40 percent.
Rim Country’s congressional district is also predominantly Democrat, with 38 percent of voters registered with the party compared to 33 percent Republican. Twenty-eight percent have registered as “other.”
In legislative District 5, which includes Rim Country, Republicans have a slight edge, representing 39 percent of registered voters, as opposed to 38 percent Democratic. “Others” represent 22 percent.