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2:18 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

ELECTION: Arizona voters picking party nominees for Congress

Matt York/The Associated Press<br>
U.S. Congressional candidate Ben Quayle makes a statement at the Arizona Republican headquarters in Phoenix Tuesday.

Matt York/The Associated Press<br> U.S. Congressional candidate Ben Quayle makes a statement at the Arizona Republican headquarters in Phoenix Tuesday.

PHOENIX (AP) - Ben Quayle was leading in his quest to win the Republican nomination in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District on Tuesday, but the race to take the front-runner position to replace retiring Rep. John Shadegg in the GOP-leaning district was still to close to call.

Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, was leading former state Sen. Jim Waring, wealthy businessman Steve Moak and seven others by a hair-width margin late Tuesday night.

Quayle made a brief appearance at Republican headquarters in Phoenix late Tuesday, making a quick statement and then quickly leaving the room as reporters shouted questions.

Meanwhile, two political novices defeated political establishment candidates to win the GOP nomination in Arizona's 1st and 8th congressional districts.

In the 1st District, political newcomer Paul Gosar, a Flagstaff dentist, defeated former lawmaker Sydney Hay of Munds Park and six other Republicans. He'll take on Democrat incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick in the district which covers northern and eastern Arizona.

Gosar won the endorsement of former presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other conservatives.

In southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District, Jesse Kelly won the GOP primary over former state Sen. Jonathan Paton and two other Republicans.

He'll challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the Nov. 2 general election. Kelly is a Marine veteran who is now a project manager with a construction company in Tucson.

Voters in the moderately Republican district gave Giffords the nod over a conservative Republican four years ago. The district extends from the suburbs northwest of Tucson to the Mexican border and east of Nogales to the New Mexico state line.

In the race to replace Shadegg, Quayle raised more than $1.3 million to try to win the seat and overcame a series of gaffes and a revelation that he had been associated with a racy website.

He'll face Phoenix lawyer and businessman Jon Hulburd, a Democrat, if he manages to hold onto his lead over Waring and Moak.

Quayle went on a television ad blitz in the final weeks of the campaign, but also stumbled when he was linked as a contributor to a racy website and a campaign mailer showing him and two young girls with the words, "We are going to raise our family here." Quayle and his wife have no children; the girls were his nieces.

Moak also poured money into the race, but it didn't appear to be effective.

In the 5th District, which takes in communities east and northeast of Phoenix from Tempe and Scottsdale to Camp Creek, Republican David Schweikert beat Susan Bitter Smith, businessman Jim Ward and three others to win the GOP nomination.

He's face Democrat Harry Mitchell, who is seeking a third term in office.

In other districts:

- Political rookie Ruth McClung topped a field of five to win the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District on Tuesday. McClung will have a tough race in November, when she tries to oust Democratic incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva.

Grijalva is seeking a fifth term representing the district which includes western portions of Tucson and Pima County, much of Santa Cruz County and the entire far southwestern corner of the state.

- Republican Janet Contreras won her party's primary nomination for the chance to take on longtime Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor in Arizona's 4th Congressional District. Contreras beat Joe Penalosa by a wide margin to earn the chance to take on Pastor in the Democrat-dominated district that includes central Phoenix and some close-in suburbs. Pastor has been in Congress since winning a special election in 1991.

- Democratic challenger John Thrasher takes on Rep. Trent Franks in a repeat of the 2nd District's 2008 race. Franks easily beat an underfunded opponent on Tuesday.

- Republican Rep. Jeff Flake won his primary race against Jeff Smith as he seeks re-election in the 6th District, which includes Mesa and Chandler. Democrat Rebecca Schneider will run against him in the general election.