With close to 60 percent of the votes in the Republican primary Wendy Rogers will face Kyrsten Sinema for the Congressional District 9 seat in the November General Election.
Unofficial results released Tuesday night had Rogers ahead of competitor Andrew Walter. With all precincts reporting Walter had 40.37 percent of the votes while Rogers had 59.13 percent.
Rogers celebrated with volunteers at Manuel’s Mexican Food in Tempe. She stood to address the crowd as soon as politico.com called the race.
“We’re going to win this district,” she said. “I will represent you in the United States Congress. I want to make sure I don’t forget to tell you that we ran a spirited campaign. I’m grateful to my opponent Andrew Walter. I really truly look forward to him getting on board with us, his supporters and his friends… We’re one step closer but the 69-day race starts right now.”
Rogers has an extensive military background, which her campaign has focused on. She also owns a small business and is a mother. Her grown children stood by her side Tuesday night.
“I will be a worker and a fighter,” she said. “Who will we face? Our congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema, who has been a cheerleader for the President. Who has been a career politician. We will change that. I’m going to Washington and I will fight. I will fight for families. I will fight for policies that grow our economy, increase our incomes, reign in wasteful spending and I’m going to keep it short because you know what we’re going to do tomorrow morning? We’re going to wake up and have a big meeting.”
Supporters say Rogers is the right person at the right time for this position.
“Her background, her small business, her stance on the border, her VA background and military background will be perfect for the issues at the VA hospital,” said Marilyn Astroth, a volunteer with the campaign. “I think she’s approachable to a lot of people from both sides of the aisle. She is not a push over. She’s a fighter. She wants answers. There’s no beating around the bush with her.”
Marjorie Minor, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident and another volunteer for the campaign said she’s believed in Rogers from the beginning.
“She’ll hit the ground running,” Minor said. “She knows what to do. It won’t take her any time to get things started. She’s already talking to people. She knows Washington.”
Rogers had support throughout the race from City Councilman Sal DiCiccio.
“Right now you have such a mess at the United States Congress and Kyrsten Sinema has been a part of that mess,” DiCiccio said. “She’s part of the Obama administration that led us into a disaster of an economy. I believe Wendy Rogers will lead us out of that.”
There was a much smaller crowd at the Walter campaign headquarters where supporters say they were disappointed with the results.
“I’m shocked with the loss, I thought with the name recognition, the location in Tempe, he had everything going for him,” said Greg Haus. “I’m just truly shocked by the loss... I hope he doesn’t give up for the future.”
Walter addressed the crowd shortly after results were posted.
“I was told early on 80 percent of the members of Congress right now lost their first time out,” he told his supporters. “Unfortunately, not everyone is an Arizona State football fan... There’s no way we’re going to look back on this and say we should have done anything differently.”
District 9 is considered a competitive district. The Arizona Democratic Party released a statement early Wednesday, already taking a shot at the primary’s winner.
“Wendy Rogers’ remark that she ‘would like to see Social Security phased out’ is extremely troubling,” said DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic party, referring to a statement Rogers made during the primary election that was often used against her by her opponent. “That kind of proposal is a bad idea for Arizona seniors — people who have worked hard, paid into Social Security, and now depend on those benefits to make ends meet. Kyrsten Sinema is a proven advocate for Arizona seniors and will fight tooth and nail to protect Social Security and Medicare from Wendy Rogers’ dangerous plan.”
LD 18 primary results
Ahwatukee Foothills is also part of a competitive legislative district. In District 18 Jill Norgaard and Bob Robson came out ahead in Tuesday night’s results in the race for House of Representatives. Both will face Democrat Mitzi Epstein in the general election.
With all precincts reporting Norgaard had 31.77 percent of the votes while Robson had 30.55 percent. John King came in with 20.88 percent of the votes and David Pheanis had 16.55 percent.
DiCiccio said of all the races he was watching Tuesday night he was most pleased to see Norgaard come out ahead in LD 18.
“Jill is such a good person,” he said. “You have a business woman who has signed the front of a check running for office and she has a lot of potential and brings a perspective of not only someone who has run her own business but someone who is a mother, who is real active in our community in schools.”
Robson ran into some controversy late in the primary election, but his supporters said they were pleased to see him once again advance to the general election.
“The one certainty about that district is you never know what’s going to happen,” said Todd Sanders, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “From the chamber’s perspective we thought we had a good night with Mr. Robson and Mr. Dial being successful. That’s great and we’ll get to know Jill Norgaard now.”
Jeff Dial got the most votes for LD 18 Senate. With all precincts reporting he had 59.77 percent of the votes compared to Tom Morrissey’s 39.96 percent. Dial will face Democrat Janie Hydrick in November.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce endorsed Dial, Robson and King.
“A lot of it was how they look at business issues,” said chamber President Todd Sanders said. “There are a lot of issues down at the Legislature that impact business. We go through a long process... The idea is we want leadership and we want someone who understands business issues, especially with someone new coming in. We want to make sure we get to know them and work together on some of the issues that will help build our economy.”
In the race for Justice of the Peace in Kyrene John McComish won the Republican primary with 71.62 percent of the votes compared to Darryl Jacobson-Barnes with 28.38 percent. McComish will face Democrat Elizabeth Rogers in the general election.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie Holland, a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, contributed to this story. Holland is interning this semester for the AFN.