Legislative District 8 covers much of Pinal County and part of Gila, taking in most of Casa Grande, part of Eloy, Coolidge, Florence and much of San Tan Valley. Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, is term limited in the House and seeking to move to the Senate. On the Democratic side is Barbara McGuire of Kearny, who lost the seat in 2016. Both have been dedicated, competent legislators and both are unopposed in the Aug. 4 primary.
For the two House seats, Democrat Sharon Girard of Eloy, a retired physician assistant who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate previously, is unopposed in the primary. On the Republican side, there are three candidates: incumbent Rep. David Cook of Globe, now-Sen. Frank Pratt of Casa Grande and attorney Neal Carter of San Tan Valley. Pratt, a longtime legislator and Casa Grande businessman, is stepping aside for Shope and seeking to again become a member of the House. He has been an important, moderate voice who is quite knowledgeable about Arizona government and always seeks to do the right thing.
Carter has attracted a strong following with his conservative values regarding taxes, education and transportation. Although the district has had good representation, he is a resident of a growing, important area in San Tan Valley. Cook, a rancher, has become an expert on water issues and has provided some good representation but now is under an ethics cloud regarding his alleged relationship with a lobbyist. Cook is entitled to due process, but the information is troubling as the election nears. We are endorsing Pratt and Carter for the nomination.
In District 11, which includes Maricopa, Arizona City and the western edge of Casa Grande, Republican Sen. Vince Leach of Saddlebrooke is unopposed for the nomination. The Democrats are JoAnna Mendoza of Red Rock and Linda Patterson of Oro Valley, a retired teacher and principal. We are endorsing for the nomination Mendoza, an Eloy native who had a career in the Navy and Marine Corps with tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. She served on the Red Rock Elementary School board.
For the House, Republican incumbent Reps. Bret Roberts of Maricopa and Mark Finchem of Oro Valley are unopposed in the primary, as is Democrat Felipe Perez of Oro Valley.
The district is very Republican in registration, and based on previous elections, a majority of voters have been quite comfortable with the representation they are receiving.