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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:26 AM Fri, Nov. 16th

Candidates line up for federal, state seats

PHOENIX – It appears that Democrat Paul Babbitt will face some primary election competition in his bid to unseat Congressman Rick Renzi, R-Flagstaff.

Democrat Bob Donahue of Cornville has filed petitions to join the Congressional District One race. So has Libertarian John Crockett, who lists his residence in Phoenix, outside of the district.

Wednesday was the deadline for Arizona's federal, state and local candidates to file nomination petitions for this fall's elections.

As of press time at 9 p.m. Wednesday, the state and federal candidates' list on the Secretary of State's Web site was 99 percent complete, Arizona Election Director Joe Kanefield said.

The state representative race for this region had five candidates by press time for the two available seats.

Democrats Wesley Edmonds of Chino Valley and James Kimes of Prescott Valley, along with Libertarian Allan Briney of Sedona, are challenging incumbent Legislative District One representatives Lucy Mason of Prescott and Tom O'Halleran of the Village of Oak Creek, both Republicans.

Senate President Ken Bennett, R-Prescott, has only one challenger for his Legislative District One seat, Democrat Susan Friedman of Prescott.

In the Congressional District One (CD1) race, two Democratic candidates dropped out of the competition before Wednesday's filing deadline.

Diane Prescott and George Cordova, who both ran for the CD1 seat two years ago, withdrew their candidacies. Cordova won a crowded primary in 2002 but lost to Renzi in the general election.

While he understands that many believe a contested primary is the Democratic way, it also can be devastating, Babbitt said during a campaign stop in Prescott in February. Babbitt is a Coconino County supervisor from Flagstaff.

Donahue said primary competition is good because it brings out ideas.

Democrats are the minority in Yavapai County, but they have the numbers edge in Congressional District One.

As long as they filed enough signatures from registered voters in their district Wednesday, the candidates will make the Sept. 7 primary ballot unless someone challenges the validity of some of the signatures in Superior Court by June 23, Kanefield explained.

Yavapai County is about evenly divided between parts of two state legislative districts, one and four. LD1 generally lies to the north and includes the Prescott tri-city area, while much of the Highway 69 corridor is within LD4.

Two candidates have filed for the lone LD4 state Senate position, incumbent Jack Harper of Sun City West and Susan Burke of Sun City.

Three candidates are seeking the two LD4 state representative seats: Judy Burges of Skull Valley, and incumbents Tom Boone of Glendale and Carole Hubbs of Sun City West. Burges ran unsuccessfully two years ago.

Contact the reporter at jdodder@prescottaz.com.