Senate Seat Is Competitive Race

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This August’s tightly-packed primary election features high stakes and tight races.

An Aug. 24 primary will precede a Nov. 2 general election.

In the state senate, incumbent Republican Sylvia Allen is campaigning against state Rep. Bill Konopnicki, who is term-limited out of his seat. Challenging the seasoned Republicans is Democrat Elaine Bohlmeyer, from Payson.

Allen, a real estate agent and grassroots activist on forest issues health issues, lives in Snowflake. She was appointed to her seat in 2008 after Jake Flake’s death.

Konopnicki, a Safford resident, has served as a representative since 2003, and served over a decade on the Safford school board.

Bohlmeyer, a former nurse and school psychologist, has no opposition in the primary.

In the state race for representative, two Democrats — Bill Shumway and Prescott Winslow, both from Winslow — will face the two ultimately successful Republican contenders.

First, a Republican primary will eliminate one of three House candidates. Safford residents Keith Alexander and Brenda Barton are running, as well as Heber candidate Chester Crandell.

Crandell has worked in the paper-making industry. Barton has a long history of lobbying for land rights and also served in leadership roles for local and state Republican women’s organizations. No information was immediately available from Alexander.

On the Democratic side, Shumway has worked as a railroad engineer for 41 years, and is set to retire. He has also represented the Navajo County Democrats as chairman. No information was immediately available for Winslow.

In Payson, four Republican candidates will fight for the spot of constable, including Kevin Christensen, a firefighter and pilot; Michelle Dyer; Chris Harold; and Colt White, a former sheriff’s deputy who resigned for the campaign. Constables serve court papers.

Statewide races also offer a bevy of candidates.

Attorney General Terry Goddard is the sole Democratic candidate in the governor’s race.

Gov. Jan Brewer faces five challengers in the primary, including Mesa resident Tom Gordon, Apache Junction resident Matthew Jette, former state Treasurer Dean Martin, Paulden businessman Buz Mills, and Tucson lawyer John Munger, who has served on various committees including chair of the Arizona Board of Regents and chair of the Arizona Republican Party.

Four Libertarian candidates will battle in a gubernatorial primary. Springerville resident Ronald Cavanaugh will face Overgaard resident Barry Hess, who worked his way through Fordham University by scrubbing toilets and managing the campus center at night. Today, he invests as a currency speculator in the foreign exchange market.

Another Overgaard resident, Libertarian candidate Bruce Olsen, is a Minuteman member who has worked in real estate and the car business.

Prescott Valley Libertarian candidate Alvin Ray Yount has a diverse background in education and communications.

The Green Party has one candidate, Tempe resident Larry Gist.

Sen. John McCain also faces fierce opposition. Republican challengers include Phoenix resident and Navy veteran Jim Deakin and former congressman J.D. Hayworth.

Four Democratic candidates for Senate include investigative journalist John Dougherty, former director of Arizona Department of Health Services Cathy Eden, and lawyer and Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman. Randy Parraz, a former community organizer who worked as state director for the national AFL-CIO, is also running in the Democratic primary for Senate.

In the race for Congressional representative, incumbent and Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is the only one of her party running.

Nine Republican challengers include Globe lawyer Bradley Beauchamp, Superior resident Rusty Bowers, Page resident Paul Burton, and Flagstaff dentist Paul Gosar.

Former teacher and political organizer Sydney Hay will run, as will Cottonwood resident and small business owner Joe Jaraczewski.

Prescott Valley educator Jon Jensen is running, along with Show Low cardiologist Steve Mehta. Thomas Zeleski, a Sedona resident who works in finance is also running.

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