By Callan Smith | Rose Law Group Reporter
Sinema’s lead over McSally was the first topic of discussion at today’s Pinal Partnership Election Recap event in Maricopa, moderated by Jordan Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group.
The all four panelists, Andrei Cherny, CEO of Aspiration, Matthew Benson, a director with Veridus, LLC, Barrett Marson, CEO Marson Media and Gibson McCay, senior principal Sherpa Public Affairs, agreed it would be a close race.
When asked by Rose, Cherny and Benson named Sinema as the winner, whereas Marson said McSally, but it would be close within one or two percent. McCay said if the trend continues as it has today it will be Sinema.
The closeness of the races speaks to a larger statement about where Arizona is trending away from a predominately red state to purple, with more moderates, as people move from states that are traditionally more moderate and liberal, McCay said.
One question asked by Rose was what would happen when Jon Kyl, who was appointed to fill John McCain’s Senate seat, steps down, as he has indicated he would, but nothing has been heard from the Governor’s office about who would receive the nomination.
One name the panelists raised was Martha McSally if she were to lose the race to Sinema. Whoever is appointed, if Kyl steps down, will take part in the 2020 election. Panelists were lukewarm to the idea of a McSally appointment with other names mentioned such as state treasurer, Eileen Klein and Karrin Taylor Robson, member of the Arizona Board of Regents. There is some question if either would be willing to campaign for Senate due to the nature of the process.
The Governor could legally appoint himself to the seat, but there is no indication he’s going to do that.
The problem of the ballot counts was discussed, considering the lawsuit filed by Arizona Republican parties, challenging Arizona County Recorders and the Secretary of state, but the consensus among the panelists was it’s a normal process for the state. Arizona hasn’t experienced a contested election as big as the Senate seat in some time.
Looking ahead to 2020 and initiatives there is the expectation that marijuana legalization will be on the ballot again, along with education funding and dark money.
The other big thing coming will be redistricting, which questions how lines should be drawn to maximize the number of competitive races in the state. When that happens people will have to work across party lines, Cherny said.