2006 Election Report

Barry Aarons, Alcor’s lobbyist, sent us the following analysis on the November 2006 elections:
As expected, incumbents held their seats with comfortable margins in statewide races. Governor Napolitano, Secretary of State Brewer, Attorney General Goddard and Superintendent of Public Instruction Horne were all re-elected, and Republican State Senator Dean Martin was elected State Treasurer. Republicans also captured both Corporation Commission races, retaining incumbent Kris Mayes and electing former House Majority Whip Gary Pierce.

In the State Senate, Republicans maintained their 18-12 majority losing a seat in Tucson (although that one is very close; and absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted) and picking up a seat in Yuma. All incumbents were re-elected. Representative Pamela Gorman will take over the seat vacated by Senator Dean Martin.

The House was a different story. Republicans have lost up to five seats from their 39-21 majority. Representative Cheryl Chase’s seat in Pinal County (she made an unsuccessful run for the State Senate); Steve Huffman’s seat in Tucson (he lost the Republican primary for Congress) were captured by Democrats; and retiring House Majority Leader Steve Tully’s seat in the north Phoenix and Scottsdale area were all captured by Democrats.

Incumbents Tempe Representative Laura Knaperek and House Health Chairman Doug Quelland were upset. Quelland’s loss (although that one is very close and all of the absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted) was the result of a Democrat assault on Speaker Jim Weiers who barely won re-election. Knaperek was likely caught in the Democrat turnout that elected Harry Mitchell over Congressman J. D. Hayworth.

Of importance to Alcor is that both Representatives Linda Lopez and Michelle Reagan were re-elected. Unfortunately Lopez’s effort to become House Democratic leader fell short and she will not be in leadership for the next two years. But she will remain an influential member of the Democratic caucus. (As an aside Lopez’s end of life legislation may have a better chance of getting a hearing due to the election results.)

The personality of the Senate will likely remain relatively conservative although the shrunken House Republican Majority may migrate the Senate to the center. Senate Majority Leader Tim Bee from Tucson will likely become Senate President.
The House will be somewhat less conservative and although the Speaker, who was again selected to that post, will have a working 34-26 majority and more compromise with the Democrats will almost have to be engaged.

In summation, we will again have a good position in the House. It is unlikely that legislation to regulate cryonics will be introduced; but we must maintain a careful watch regardless.

As for ballot propositions, all ballot propositions that sought to provide enforcement against illegal immigration were successful. They include propositions 100 (denial of bail for illegal aliens); 102 (punitive damage award restrictions for illegal immigrants); 103 (English as the official language); and, 301 (limitation on public programs for illegal aliens).

The two state land trust revision propositions (105 and 106) were defeated: as was the increase in legislative pay (302); the voter lottery (200); the constitutional marriage definition (107); and, the mail-in ballot requirement (205). The American Cancer Society anti-smoking ban passé while the RJ Reynolds alternative smoking ban (206) failed.

Of the remaining propositions, both the local government levy limits (101) and the municipal debt capacity (104) proposals passed as did the pig and veal farm animal pen restrictions (204); the minimum wage imposition (202); and, the early childhood development proposal (203).

Lastly the eminent domain limitation (207) and the meth incarceration (301) measures both passed.