Democratic incumbent Sen. Manuel "Manny" Alvarez, a pistachio farmer from Efrida who has represented Legislative District 25 since winning a House seat in 2002, will fight to keep his seat in this humungous, five-county swing district stretching along the Arizona/Mexico border from east of Yuma to the southeast corner of the state. The multi-cultural district includes military families in Sierra Vista, the residents of border towns such as Nogales and Douglas, Marana suburbanites and Native American tribal members on the Tohono O’odham Nation.
About four out of 10 voters identify as Democrats and about three out of 10 identify as Republicans. But even though Dems have a registration edge, one of the district's two House seats is held by a Republican, which gives the GOP hope that they can knock out Alvarez and put another of the state's 30 Senate seats in the Republican column.
Two GOP candidates are vying for the chance to take on Alvarez: Gail Griffin, a real-estate agent and
property-right activist, and Craig Smith, a Huachuca City Town Council member and retired Army master sergeant who is hoping his home city of Nogales will give him a boost in the largely rural district.
Incumbent Rep. Pat Fleming of Sierra Vista, who won the seat in 2008 and served on the Natural Resources and Rural Affairs and Military Affairs and Public Safety committees, will face fellow Democrats Ken Davis, an intelligence instructor at Fort Huachuca, and Ruben Ortega, a former state representative from 1989 to 1996, in the Democratic primary.
The Republican field includes incumbent Rep. David Stevens, who was also elected in 2008 and served on the Military Affairs and Public Safety and Water and Energy committees, and Peggy Judd, a Willcox Tea Party organizer, district precinct committeeman and first-time candidates who works with her family real estate company.
Sen. Manny Alvarez's Web site here
Craig Smith's Web site here
Gail Griffin has not yet set up a Web site.
Rep. Pat Fleming's Web Site here
Rep David Steven's Web site here
Ken Davis Facebook page here
Peggy Judd's Facebook page here.
Ruben Ortega has not yet set up a Web site.