Arizona voters tossed out many current lawmakers in primary election. Here’s what led to their losses

Republican Sen. Vince Leach, one of 13 lawmakers swept out of office in the 2022 Primary Election, was accused by Democrats of manipulating the Independent Redistricting Commission to make sure his home was within the newly created Tucson-area Legislative District 17. He ended up with a primary challenge from a woman who had previously run for office without success, Justine Wadsack./Capitol Media Services 2019 photo by Howard Fischer


By Ray Stern | The Arizona Republic

Voters in Tuesday’s primary election tossed out as many as 13 current lawmakers in a sweep of officeholders not seen for at least a decade.

With the country’s economy rocked by historic inflation and global supply problems on the tail end of a devastating pandemic, the fresh candidates offered their polarized visions of change. Voters responded.

Trump-endorsed candidates and other Republican candidates who promised to bring more energy and stronger conservative values to the Arizona Legislature appeared to knock out eight sitting House and Senate members. Apparent primary winners in three of the eight face Democratic opponents in November.

“It’s about refocusing on what the voters care about,” said Joanna De La Cruz, who runs the conservative consulting firm The Resolute Group. “It’s really the cultural issues that did people in.”

Successful candidates focused on public safety, religious freedom, private-school subsidies, border and immigration problems, election security and the economy, she said.

On the other side of the aisle, five lawmakers lost their races, including three to progressive candidates in an overall leftward shift of the Legislature’s Democratic caucus.

The results are based on Friday’s vote counts and could fluctuate as election officials count the final ballots.


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