Pinal County residents will be voting soon, and many of them will support the reelection of President Trump, who won Pinal by 18,000 votes four years ago. Many others will not, but some of those may be concerned about the direction of the government if Democrats make a clean sweep. This is especially so after the wild first debate, in which Joe Biden refused to address the ideas of killing the Senate filibuster and adding justices to the Supreme Court. Those ideas have been espoused by some Democrats on the national scene, although a majority of voters do not approve.
The result could be an America that is quite different, and changing back would be difficult. With Biden leading in the polls, Democrats already controlling the House, and the Senate balance in doubt, congressional races take on a special importance. Of course, many Democrats look forward to the possibility of that clean sweep.
In Arizona, Republican Martha McSally was serving in the House when she ran and lost a Senate race two years ago. She then was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain. On the Democratic side, Mark Kelly has been favored in the polls. He is a retired astronaut and husband of a former congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, who was seriously wounded by a mentally disturbed shooter at a public event.
The importance of the race has brought a flood of national advertising money to the state. Kelly has enjoyed the benefit of running as an outsider without a political record. His past business dealings, Chinese connections and positions on gun control have been the subject of criticism. Voters will have to decide about that. Meanwhile Kelly, like Biden, won’t talk about any views he has about the filibuster or expanding the Supreme Court, and that is troubling. McSally, who also was a combat pilot, is a proven entity, experienced in defense legislation, and should be elected to the seat.
For the House, Congressman Tom O’Halleran has represented the 1st District and benefited from a Democratic registration edge. He has the reputation of a moderate, which fits pretty well with the huge district, although he usually votes with his party. Meanwhile, Pinal resident Tiffany Shedd is making a strong run on the Republican side and has drawn national support for her conservative and sensible positions.
In the Republican-leaning 4th District, which includes Florence and San Tan Valley, Rep. Paul Gosar has not had a serious challenge. His quirks sometimes raise eyebrows, but he is a solid member of the Republican caucus and should have another term. The Democratic candidate is Delina DiSanto.