Crowded write-in race in LD22 splits Democrat party focus

By Camryn Sanchez || Arizona Capitol Times 

A West Valley Senate race has gone from a sure win for an unopposed Democrat in the general election to a nine–person race of write-in candidates.

The Democrats in Legislative District 22 have been unsuccessful in narrowing the competition of their own party as the field has grown larger with Republicans. Democrats account for 36.3% of the voters in the West Valley district, compared to 17.3% of Republican voters. Independents and other parties account for 46% of registered voters.

The chaos began after former Rep. Diego Espinoza, D-Tolleson, defeated fellow Democrat Rep. Richard Andrade, D-Glendale, in the August primary election, leaving Espinoza unopposed in the general. However, Espinoza dropped out of the race on September 2 to take a job as the senior government and community relations representative for the Salt River Project.

Espinoza’s name is on the ballot, so the write-in candidate who gets the most votes wins.

Three Republicans, an independent and five Democrats are currently running in District 22.

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