On Tuesday evening, state Rep. Ed Ableser announced during a meeting of fellow Democrats from the new Legislative District 26 that he decided today to run for a seat in the Arizona Senate this year. Later the same evening, current Republican state Sen. Jerry Lewis, when asked by John Rojas on Facebook if he plans to run for re-election in the new LD26, gave a one word answer: "Yes."
Mr. Lewis defeated Senate President Russell Pearce in an historic recall election in November 2011.
Obviously, both individuals must still organize a campaign and collect the requisite nominating petition signatures. That and wait for the Dept. of Justice to determine that the new legislative map approved in January by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission adequately preserves minority voting strength throughout the State of Arizona.
We'll see how it all plays out, but right now the AIRC competitiveness report for the new LD map shows -- when considering the election results for the years 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 (weighted equally) -- that LD26 is within 5.8 percent. That means Republicans were favored 47.1 percent in those elections by precincts now included in this district, and Democrats favored 52.9 percent.