Women, minority candidates emerge in Democratic slate

By Katie Campbell and Carmen Forman | Arizona Capitol Times

The statewide Democratic candidates who emerged victorious from primary elections reflect a diverse slate, with people of color and women making up the majority of the nominees. The Republican nominees reflect quite the opposite.

Not only is the GOP slate lacking broad diversity, but two incumbent women lost their re-election bids to male candidates, further homogenizing the Republican contingent.

All but two Democratic statewide candidates – Mark Manoil, who is running for treasurer, and Bill Pierce, candidate for mine inspector – are women, minorities or both.

The statewide GOP ticket is the complete opposite. Republicans have two women – U.S. Sen. candidate Martha McSally and treasurer candidate Kimberly Yee – running statewide.

Republicans are running a more diverse slate of candidates in state congressional races.

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District nominee Wendy Rogers and 2nd Congressional District nominee Lea Marquez Peterson join the GOP federal elections slate along with U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko, who is defending her seat in the state’s 8th Congressional District.

But the GOP congressional delegation is also overshadowed by a more diverse group of Democratic congressional candidates.

The diversity of Arizona’s statewide Democratic ticket reflects a trend across the country wherein liberal voters are increasingly supporting women and minority candidates.

Just two black candidates have clinched governorships in the country’s history. But this year, black Democrats in Florida, Georgia and Maryland won their gubernatorial primaries, paving the way for what could be a historic Election Day.

The Democratic Party is seeing a surge in engagement among people of all ethnicities, said Felecia Rotellini, state party chairwoman. Democrats have always had the upper hand when it comes to diversity, but now women and minorities are fed up with Republican policies and are calling for change, she said.

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