Originally Published: August 31, 2016 5:55 a.m.
U.S. Sen. John McCain gave a victory speech of more than eight minutes following his win in Tuesday’s primary as he seeks a sixth term in November.
McCain’s speech covered the issues he wants to focus on such as national security, health care, veterans care and the economy.
He also says “it is imperative that Republicans maintain our majorities in Congress” and “have a say over the next president’s appointments to the Supreme Court.”
The 80-year-old McCain — who was the Republican party’s 2008 presidential nominee — easily defeated former state Sen. Kelli Ward and two other Republicans on the ballot Tuesday.
McCain faces a tough Democratic challenge in the November general election from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. She advanced after facing only a write-in opponent in Tuesday’s primary.
In a statement, Kirkpatrick says she’s looking forward to a spirited campaign against McCain.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Prescott easily beat back a primary challenge from a former Buckeye city councilman who received unexpected backing from an out-of-state group.
Ray Strauss benefited from more than $280,000 in spending by the group that seeks to unseat “Freedom Caucus” members who ousted House Speaker John Boehner.
Gosar’s win essentially gives him a general election victory in the state’s 4th Congressional District, which is heavily Republican. The district runs from the west Phoenix suburbs to the Colorado River and includes Kingman and Lake Havasu City.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has outpaced four challengers to win the Republican nomination in the sprawling 1st Congressional District, which includes much of Arizona outside the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas.
Babeu’s victory earns him the right to try to wrest the district from Democratic control.
Kirkpatrick, the incumbent, is vacating the seat to run for U.S. Senate, and Democrat Tom O’Halleran easily won the Democratic primary Tuesday.
Six Republicans appeared on the primary ballot, although Arizona House Speaker David Gowan suspended his campaign and threw his support behind Springerville rancher and businessman Gary Kiehne.
The others in the race were former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers and businessman Shawn Redd.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has crushed three rivals to win the Republican nomination in his bid for a seventh term.
Arpaio will face Democrat challenger Paul Penzone during the fall in what’s believed to be his toughest campaign in six terms as Maricopa County’s top lawman. Arpaio easily beat former Buckeye Police Chief Dan Saban and two other lesser-known Republican opponents Tuesday.
A judge has ruled that Arpaio’s officers racially profiled Latinos, and the sheriff was found in civil contempt of court for defying court orders in the case. The judge recently recommended that Arpaio face criminal prosecution over the contempt case, which could subject him to jail time.
Arizona election officials say they saw no major problems during Tuesday primary election voting.
Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts says it was an extremely quiet Election Day. That’s a sharp contrast to the March 22 presidential primary that saw long lines and wait times exceeding five hours in some parts of the state’s largest county.
Those problems in Maricopa County were blamed in part on the consolidation of polling places and the fact that independents can’t vote in Arizona’s presidential primary.
Regular primaries allow those not registered with a party to choose a Republican, Democratic or Green Party ballot. The Libertarian Party primary remains closed. The county returned to the normal number of polling places Tuesday.
Maricopa County elections spokeswoman Elizabeth Barthlomew says polls closed on time, with only a couple of glitches reported through the day.
However, many Arizonans wanting to view the Secretary of State’s election results Tuesday night experienced errors while trying to load the website.
The website crashed for the first time shortly after early results were posted around 8 p.m.
The site continued to intermittently produce results throughout the night, occasionally producing messages saying “Error” or “This site can’t be reached” or “Service unavailable.”
In the weeks leading up to the primary, Secretary of State Michele Reagan said the website had been upgraded to a system that would get results quicker.
She said the results would be posted in real time and that users wouldn’t have to refresh the page for updates and new numbers.
There was no immediate word from Reagan’s office about what went wrong Tuesday night.