Arizona: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon Win GOP Races; 9th District Battle Set
Posted at 12:21 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2012
Rep. Paul Gosar beat back a competitive GOP primary challenge Tuesday and former Rep. Matt Salmon won the nomination that clears the way for him to return to Congress after a more than decade long hiatus.
The GOP races in the 4th and 5th districts were the two most-watched Republican primaries outside of the blockbuster Member-vs.-Member race involving Reps. David Schweikert and Ben Quayle in the 6th district.
Gosar easily defeated state Sen. Ron Gould and another candidate in the GOP primary in the newly drawn 4th district.
He is now almost guaranteed to win the general election in this safe Republican district. Gosar currently represents the 1st district, however, key conservative areas were drawn out of it during redistricting. Gosar had the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), while the Club for Growth put great effort into Gould’s bid.
Salmon defeated former state Speaker Kirk Adams, despite a burst of prominent endorsements for Adams. Salmon left Congress in 2001 to honor a term-limit pledge.
Meanwhile, in the state’s new 9th district there were competitive primaries on both sides of the aisle. Apart from the Senate race, the primaries in the 9th were the most consequential of the night because this is the lone Tossup House race in Arizona.
Former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won the Democratic nod in the new district created on the edges of Phoenix. She will face former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker, who narrowly won the GOP nomination.
Parker, the most organized candidate in the crowded GOP primary, will have a lot of work to do on the fundraising front. But in a summer interview with Roll Call, he predicted that his fundraising would pick up once the Quayle-Schweikert race was over.
Sinema has the backing of EMILY’s List and the group was a primary reason she was successful on Tuesday.