The Wednesday deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions separated those who hoped to be on the ballot from those who will, and there were few surprises.

In Ahwatukee Foothills and Legislative District 20 current Rep. John McComish (R-Ahwatukee Foothills) will be running unopposed for the one state Senate seat, something unique in his political career.

“It’s a nice feeling to know your uncontested, and knowing what your next (elected) position will be,” he said last week. “It certainly takes the pressure off.”

But McComish said he still has plans to run his campaign and to help Republican candidates in Ahwatukee Foothills and across the state.

In the House race candidates will have to hit the campaign trail and voters will see some familiar names. Republicans Bob Robson, who represented the district until term limits prevented him from running two years ago, will be back on the ballot, along with Jeff Dial, making his third run for one of the two seats in the state House. The third Republican battling it out in the primary election for the two spots in the November General Election is Christopher Tolino, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident making his first run at public office.

The lone Democrat is Rep. Rae Waters, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident and current Kyrene School District Governing Board member.

Other names that will look familiar on the primary ballot this August include Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former Kyrene teacher Penny Kotterman, who will be facing off against Jason Williams for the Democratic nomination for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

On the GOP side of the same race current Sen. John Huppenthal (R-Chandler), who has represented Ahwatukee Foothills for decades and has been chair of the Senate’s Education Committee for years, will face off against Margaret Dugan and Beth Price for the Republican nomination.

The congressional race in District 5 could garner national attention as six Republicans battle to face incumbent Harry Mitchell in November.

Three of the six were on the GOP primary ballot two years ago: former Treasure David Schweikert, the winner who then lost to Mitchell; current Central Arizona Project president Susan Bitter-Smith; and accountant and attorney Lee Gentry.

Three others, Dr. Chris Salvino, former business executive Jim Ward and Ahwatukee Foothills resident Mark Spinks, are all making their first foray into politics and hope to take on Mitchell in November.

Some political insiders think that race will be an indictor of if the GOP can recapture Congress.

But if money is any indication, Mitchell, with $900,000 in the bank, will easily control the campaign. Four of the GOP challengers have loaned more money to their campaigns then they have raised, as of the end of March.

For more information on the August primary election, visit the Arizona Secretary of State’s site at

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