David Livingston Rick Gray Sarah Tyree

Social distancing restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic likely limited the number of candidates able to get signatures required to make the primary ballot.

But the pandemic apparently had little impact on the Aug. 4 primary.  

On Aug. 14, the Maricopa County Elections Department finalized the federal and state primary elections held 10 days earlier.

According to the county, “a historic primary turnout” had 860,704 voters participating. That was nearly 25% more than the 699,636 ballots in the 2018 primary. (In the 2016 primary,  555,844 ballots were turned in to the county.)

The ballots returned represent 35% of the 2.4 million registered voters.

Voters were able to mail or drop off ballots or vote in person, with 99 polling places set up to provide social distancing.

With many races having little competition, there were no upsets, with incumbents cruising to the November general election.


Congressional races

The Aug. 4 primary election had three Democrat candidates for the 8th Congressional District.

 Rep. Debbie Lesko was the only Republican to file in District 8, which includes parts of Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Waddell, Glendale and Peoria. Lesko received 105,758 votes. 

There were three Democrats on the primary ballot for the 8th Congressional District: Michael Muscato of Peoria, Bob Musselwhite of Litchfield Park and Bob Olsen of Surprise.

Kyle Martin of Glendale filed as a write-in candidate.

Michael Muscato, who received  35,923 votes, will attempt to unseat Lesko in the November election. Bob Olsen received 20,547 votes and Bob Musselwhite received 9,578 votes. 

The 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Tolleson and Glendale, had just three candidates file: incumbent Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, and Republicans Joshua Barnett of Phoenix and Nina Becker of Sun City. Becker has withdrawn from the race.

In this overwhelmingly Democrat district, Gallego received 56,108 votes. Barnett received 15,245 votes. They will battle in November.


State races

In District 21, which includes Peoria, incumbent Kevin Payne of Peoria and challengers Beverly Pingerelli of Peoria and Randy Miller of Sun City filed as Republican candidates, while Kathy Knecht of Peoria was the lone Democrat to file. Incumbent Tony Rivero of Peoria did not file.

Payne received 16,987 votes. Pingerelli received 16,896 votes. Those two move on to the November ballot. Miller received 10,708 votes. 

Knecht received 19,882 votes.  

Incumbent Rick Gray filed for the District 21 Senate as a Republican, with Ryan Eldridge of Peoria a Republican write-in candidate. Brian Whitman of Peoria was the lone Democrat to file for the District 21 Senate seat.

Gray received 26,075 votes. Whitman received 19,464 votes. 

Arizona District 22 includes parts of Peoria.

On the ballot for reelection is Sen. David Livingston, who received 29,714 votes to overcome a challenge from fellow Republican Hop Nguyen, who received 8,613 votes. 

Sarah Tyree was the lone Democrat candidate for the District 22 Senate seat. She received 24,292 and will face Livingston in November.

Incumbents Frank Carroll, who received 33,667 votes, and Ben Toma, who received 33,677 votes, were on the Republican primary ballot for the District 22 House of Representatives seat, with Wendy Garcia, who received 20,854 votes, and Mary “Kathleen” Home, who received 15,519 votes, on Democrat ballots.

All four will be on the November ballot, fighting for the two District 22 seats.

Incumbent Paul Boyer of Glendale was the only Republican to file, and Douglas Ervin of Phoenix was the only Democrat to file for the state Senate position in District 20.

Boyer received 20,242  votes. Ervin received 18,497  votes. The two will battle in November.

Incumbents Anthony Kern of Glendale and Shawnna Bollick of Phoenix were the only two Republicans to file for the two state representatives of District 20. Judy Schwiebert of Phoenix filed as a Democrat for District 20.

Kern received 16,134 votes. Bollick received 15,760 votes. Schwiebert received 18,520 votes and will try to unseat one of the Republican incumbents in November.