Both incumbent state House members in the legislative district that includes Ahwatukee are facing challenges within their own parties while the state Senate seat will see a replay of the 2016 election in November.

Filings that made the May 30 deadline for the Aug. 28 primary in Legislative District 18 show Republican incumbent Rep. Jill Norgaard will vie for a chance at a third term with former Tempe legislator Greg Patterson and Chandler newcomer Farhana Shifa.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Tempe Rep. Mitzi Epstein will try to hang on for the November election by competing against two Chandler Democrats, Jennifer Jermaine and Ladawn Stuben.

The district also includes parts of Tempe, Chandler and Mesa.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Sean Bowie has clear sailing in the primary and will face Tempe Republican Frank Schmuck, whom he defeated two years ago to win his first term.

Campaign sites suggest some of the broad outlines of this year’s campaign in LD 18.

Epstein declares on her website, “We must educate the whole child. Neither a child nor a school should ever be reduced to one test score. Our schools need arts, PE, technology, school counselors, as well as rigorous courses in English, math, science and social studies.”

Jermaine, on, states, “I am running because the children of Arizona deserve fully funded public schools, our disability community deserves to have access to public spaces, and our residents deserve to be free of harassment and racism as they lead their daily lives.”

Stuben, whose only site so far on twitter at, says, “You can often find me in the streets advocating for Medicare for all, a living wage, environmental protection and racial justice.”

Norgaard sets out part of her position on by calling attention to her work the last four years in the Legislature:

“My primary sponsored bills have focused on: protecting business from state regulatory overreach, the reduction of financial red tape for education at the K-12 level, tax reform, upgrade and enhance cities’ bond ratings, and the restoration of Joint Technical Education District funding.”

Patterson, a former Arizona Board of Regents chairman who resigned from that position after a year in June 2017, does not appear to have set up a campaign website, although he has operated a site on Arizona politics,, where he states, “I have worked to protect consumers, increase access to healthcare and support higher education.”

Shifa, a native of Bangladesh, says on her site, “If we will follow the Constitution and return government to its rightful function, we will fix much of what is broken. Protecting and restoring our constitutional rights (particularly the First and Second Amendments) will be a passion of mine.”

Ahwatukee voters also will have to wait until November to vote for a new mayor now that Greg Stanton has resigned to run for the congressional seat vacated by Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic contender for U.S. Senate.

And they’ll be waiting till November to vote in the state Senate race because only Bowie and Schmuck are on the ballot representing their respective parties.

Bowie, at, declares, “Our Legislature has failed to invest and protect our local schools. When given the opportunity, they have chosen to use state resources on things like for-profit prisons, tax cuts for corporations that never asked for them and money for special interests.”  

And at, Schmuck, a commercial airline pilot, states, “Active in many civic and charitable causes, in 2004 Frank was inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame as the youngest living member for his contributions to community and state since his military service.”

Resident have until July 30 to register to vote in the primary and early voting begins Aug. 1.

(2) comments

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