District One Arizona Senate Republican, Tom O'Halleran will hang up his legislative hat at the end of this year. O'Halleran, of Sedona, was defeated in the Primary election Tuesday by challenger and Republican heavyweight Steve Pierce of Prescott.
Pierce is a Prescott area rancher and developer with high party credentials, who has never held elective office. Pierce was a former chairman of the Yavapai County Republican Party and has, for the last five years, been a member of the state party executive committee.
Many senior party leaders had grown weary of O'Halleran's ability to cross party lines on issues including approval of the state budget. Pierce was also able to better-fund his campaign with over $200,000 in personal contributions. There is also that persistent separation between Prescott and the Verde Valley on opposite sides of Mingus Mountain.
Pierce said, all of those things were factors but, "I grew up here and had a lot of friend who felt like I did that Tom had gotten away from the conservative rural values like cutting taxes."
He said he spent several days walking through neighborhoods in the Verde Valley, where people said
Steve Pierce will like face Pat Chancerell in November. The Prescott write-in candidate who was the lone Democrat to seek the nomination and needs write-ins of 307 voters to get on the General Election ballot.
Pierce defeated O'Halleran by a 5-percent margin. 12,831 votes were cast for Pierce. 11,528 were cast for O'Halleran.
47 percent of Republicans registered in the first legislative district cast ballots.
In a similar circumstance, Pamela Pearsall easily defeated two opponents to become the new assessor. She had nearly 45 percent of the vote in the Republican contest that saw embattled incumbent Victor Hambrick earn 28 percent and Pete Weaver 27 percent.
Sitting Sheriff Steve Waugh also breezed through the primary with 71 percent of the vote while his opponent, Ernie Cox had 28.5 percent. Waugh faces no official opposition in the general election.
The Republican ballot showed a 50 percent voter turnout in the county.
Statewide, Ann Kirkpatrick has an easy primary victory in the Congressional District 1 race. Among four Democrats, she pulled in 47.3 percent of the vote Tuesday night.
Mary Kim Titla had a strong showing with 32.5 percent while Howard Shanker had 14.3 percent. Jeffrey Brown rounded out the pack with 5.9 percent.
Things were a little tighter on the Republican side, with Sydney Hay pulling out the win, with 38.8 percent, followed by Sandra Livingstone at 34.5 percent. Tom Hansen finished with 17.3 percent, and Barry Hall 6 percent. Preston Korn, who withdrew from the race, still garnered 1,462 votes.
The Corporation Commission race, voters selected up to three candidates per ballot. For the Democrats, Sandra Kennedy had 30.9 percent, Paul Newman had 26.1 percent and Sam George 22.4 percent. Kara Kelty had 20.5 percent.
In the more crowded Republican field, Bob Stump was top vote getter with 21.6 percent, followed by Marian McClure at 14.6 percent and incumbent Barry Wong at 12.9 percent. John Allen kept it close at 12.8 percent.
State Senate District 1 Republican
Corporation Commission Democrat
Corporation Commission Republican
Yavapai County Assessor Republican
Yavapai County Sheriff Republican