Voters will have plenty of candidates to choose from in the upcoming primary election, with some familiar names sprinkled with newcomers and other familiar names looking for new challenges.

In Legislative District 20, which includes all of Ahwatukee Foothills, former state Rep. Bob Robson will be back on the ballot after term limits sidelined him two years ago.

The Chandler Republican is eager to get back to the Capitol, despite a massive $5 billion budget shortfall.

“I believe I have the skill set to deal with the problems of this magnitude,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of the solution to complex problems.”

After almost two decades representing people in the district, Sen. John Huppenthal won’t be returning to the Legislature. Instead, he is planning a bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“Improving Arizona’s schools has been my life’s work” said Huppenthal, a former Chandler councilman. “I’ve worked closely with teachers and parents on education issues for nearly two decades, so I’m very familiar with the challenges and opportunities Arizona schools face.”

Huppenthal will face four, or more, Republican challengers in the primary. If he wins the Aug. 24 primary election he could face Penny Kotterman in the general election. She is an Ahwatukee Foothills resident, former Arizona Education Association president and Kyrene teacher who must win the Democratic primary before worrying about the Nov. 2 general election.

Hoping to move up from the House to the Senate is Rep. John McComish, the current majority leader in the House and the former head of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.

He said he wants to use the past six years experience in the House to help the Senate run smoother.

“The House has been more efficient than the Senate this session,” said McComish, pointing to the steady flow of legislation that had hearings in the House compared to the Senate, which delayed everything for almost six months before trying to rush through a backlog of bills, including the state budget.

The one current District 20 lawmaker not planning a big move is Rep. Rae Waters, a Democrat, who intends to stand for re-election and stay in the House.

She defeated Republican Jeff Dial two years ago by fewer than 700 votes, and Dial has filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office that he will be seeking a rematch.

For more information on the 2010 campaign season, visit and click on elections.


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