On a night when Arizona Democrats are hoping for big changes across the congressional map, there is at least one race where they want only to see a small shift.
U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, has held the state’s Phoenix-based 9th Congressional District since it was drawn for the 2012 elections.
With Sinema on the ballot for the U.S. Senate, former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is trying to hold the seat for his party.
Standing in his way is Republican Steve Ferrara, a radiologist and former chief medical officer for the U.S. Navy, whose medical background could blunt Democrats’ presumed advantage on the issue.
Democrats hold a 4-percentage-point registration advantage in the district.
Stanton has borrowed from Sinema’s political playbook, presenting himself to voters as a problem-solver, not a partisan. He touted the city’s job and wage growth on his watch, which ran from 2012 until earlier this year.
Like other Democrats nationally, Stanton also made the need to upgrade the nation’s health-care system a key issue.
Unlike many Republicans, Ferrara welcomed health care as an issue, though he has struggled to differentiate his views from those of his party more broadly.
By contrast, Ferrara has sharply accused Stanton of cronyism as the city’s mayor and argued the poorest neighborhoods in Phoenix remained in a state of neglect. He cast himself as a reasonable Republican who could represent a district as politically diverse as the 9th District.
Both men seemed to agree on issues like the science of climate change and the need for comprehensive immigration reforms.
The district runs from north-central Phoenix between Interstate 17 and State Route 51 down to cover portions of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and back into Ahwatukee Foothills in south Phoenix. It includes Arizona State University.
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