Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

GOP powers intact in Legislature

More battles expected between gov., lawmakers

Republican Sen. Tim Bee (with his wife, Grace, and their 15-month-old son, Sterling) is likely to become the Senate president.

Republican Sen. Tim Bee (with his wife, Grace, and their 15-month-old son, Sterling) is likely to become the Senate president.

The Democratic blue tsunami that rolled across the nation Tuesday did not have enough momentum to sweep over the Arizona Legislature, which will remain strongly Republican next year.

The statehouse in Phoenix will remain a red and conservative bastion that re-elected Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano will have to deal with to address issues such as the border, health care and education that will continue to demand attention from the state’s elected leaders.

Before the election, Republicans held a slight hope of building on their majority in the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives and perhaps gain the ability to override gubernatorial vetoes of legislation favored by Republicans.

Before the election, Republicans held an 18-12 edge in the Senate and a 39-21 margin in the House. Given current results, some of which could change in tight races, Republicans will lose seven seats in the House yet maintain their numbers in the Senate.

The override of a veto requires a two-thirds vote in both houses.

But the GOP failed to build that irresistible force in the chambers and faces another stormy year with the governor.

Napolitano has vetoed more legislation – 125 bills – than any other governor since Arizona became a state in 1912.

The result: The status quo is expected for the state as a whole and for southern Arizona. One Democratic governor. Two Republican houses of the Legislature. “It will be just like we’ve had it in the past,” Donna Branch-Gilby, chairwoman of the Pima County Democratic Party, said Tuesday night.

“Everything gets concentrated in Maricopa County and Tucson loses out,” she said.

She cited gerrymandering of state legislative districts as a major reason why Democrats did not break the Republican hold on either statehouse Tuesday.

Pima County Republican Party Chairwoman Judi White said she was not surprised that Arizona did not go nearly as strongly for Democrats as did other states.

“Arizona didn’t work out blue because we have a strong Republican base statewide except in Pima County,” White said.

White also saw more of the same – volatility – between the governor and the Legislature.

Southern Arizona should get a boost with the likely election of District 30′s Tim Bee as Senate president.

Bee easily won re-election in his district, which includes portions of Tucson and Green Valley.

Bee said it is important that members of both parties from southern Arizona work together.

“We agree on more issues than we disagree,” he said. “I’m confident we can work together.”

District 27 Democratic Rep. Linda Lopez also won re-election. Lopez is in the running for House leader of the party, another possible plus for southern Arizona.

Moderate Republican Jennifer Burns of Tucson was in a tight fight to retain her District 25 seat against fellow Republican Gail Griffin and Democrat Patricia Fleming. The race was too close to call this morning.

Incumbent Democrat Manny Alvarez won the other House seat.

A Griffin win would represent a shift to a more conservative GOP member, while a Fleming win would give both seats to Democrats.

Democrat Charlene Pesquiera and Republican Al Melvin, newcomers, were in a tight battle for the state Senate seat in District 26. With only 146 votes separating the two this morning, the race rests on ballots yet uncounted.

Melvin surprised experts by beating three-term incumbent Republican Toni Hellon in the GOP primary in September.

Hellon was considered moderate, while Melvin is more aligned with current Senate leadership.

A Pesquiera victory would give Democrats a Senate seat in a traditionally Republican district they did not expect to win.

A Melvin win would give Republican conservatives an additional voice.

Pesquiera: Democrat holds tiny lead over Republican Al Melvin in Senate District 26

Pesquiera: Democrat holds tiny lead over Republican Al Melvin in Senate District 26

Your voices: Election 2006

Your Voices: Election 2006

Tucson voters speak.

Producer: Tucson Citizen

Slide 1 of 15 [Next | Previous].
Audrey Gamez, 64: "She has done a good job with more money for schools and student vocational education," said Gamez of Gov. Janet Napolitano. "It's important because if you have a trade, you have a head start so you can move on to college if you want to."
Source: XAVIER GALLEGOS/Tucson Citizen

Slideshow #2



Statewide and local election results

Proposition election results

election coverage


Can Dem U.S. House reform immigration?

Whole state goes to Napolitano

GOP powers intact in Legislature

Kyl tops Pederson despite ‘protest vote’ against GOP

Arizona’s new look

At a glance: Four key issues

Judge overturns election map

Precinct 25 seen as Hispanics’ bellwether

Horne to stress classroom rigor

Smoking, eminent domain take hits from voters

Navajo woman fails in leadership campaign

Missing key not voter barrier for long


Online poll: What election result most surprised you?
Gov. Janet Napolitano's win: 2%
Sen. Jon Kyl's win: 17%
Gabrielle Giffords' win in Congressional District 8: 10%
Proposition 107, "Protect Marriage Arizona": 44%
Proposition 207, eminent domain: 7%
Propositions 201 and 206, the smoking bans: 16%
681 users voted

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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