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Democrats gain clout in State Senate

Overall a mixed night for Pima Democrats
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Posted at 1:05 AM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 03:05:48-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - At the election night party for Pima County Democrats the mood was upbeat but gradually turned somber as the national contest did not go their way but they still did find things to be happy about.
      
It wasn't a Pima County race but the crowd cheered to hear Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was knocked out of office.  
      
The Democrats found something to cheer about in local races---often the offices that have the most effect on your daily life.   State Senator Steve Farley was eager to talk about a huge change in the balance of power in the State Senate.
      
He predicted a fifteen to fifteen split between Democrats and Republicans in the State Senate and and end to the days when Republicans dominated the Senate and could push through whatever they liked.
 
Farley says, “Now with a 15-15 Senate, that means that everything changes in terms of how the Republicans who were formerly in charge of everything deal with issues and deal with us.” 
 
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “What are some potential changes you see from that change of the balance of power?" 
 
Farley:  One of the huge changes is the way we create the budget.  The last eight years we have seen budgets be done by the majority,behind closed doors and voted on in the middle of the night when no one is watching. We're gonna have the way we used to do in the Legislature with subcommittees looking at different aspects of the budget, taking full public input and voting on the budget in the daytime.”
 
It was not a good night for Doctor Matt Heinz campaign to unseat Martha McSally in Congressional District Two.
 
After a concession speech he said, “This is a very competitive district and we fought hard and didn't prevail this time but we talked about a lot of important issues; issues of equality, women's health issues and a lot of pocketbook issues and jobs, the economy.  We focused on the issues the people were really the most interested in and I think that that will be an ongoing conversation moving forward."
 
Brian Bickel challenged one term Republican Allie Miller for the seat on District 1 but Miller led by a comfortable margin.
 
Democratic incumbent Sharon Bronson fought Republican Kim DeMarco for the seat on District 3 and was well ahead through the night.  That seemed to end Republican hopes of achieving a Republican majority on the Pima Board of Supervisors.
 
In the race for Pima County Sheriff, Chris Nanos was appointed to the post when longtime Sheriff Clarence Dupnik retired. 
 
Republican opponent Mark Napier often referred to Nanos status as appointed not elected, and pointed out Nanos office has been under FBI investigation for alleged misuse of funds.  Napier showed  a strong lead in the race.
       
And despite a mixed night Democrats say they see Arizona evolving into a state more in line their points of view.