SIERRA VISTA — Republican candidates came out ahead in the general elections for Arizona’s 14th Legislative District on Tuesday night.
As of press time, voters had selected Republicans David Gowan, 48, Gail Griffin, 73, and Becky Nutt (age not provided) to represent Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee counties, along with parts of Pima County.
Gowan, a former speaker of the Arizona House, beat Democrat Jaime Alvarez, 63, with 40,182 votes, or 61 percent, of the votes for the state Senate seat. Alvarez, a retired auditor who ran on a strong education platform and had previously campaigned for a House seat in 2016, had 25,639 or 39 percent of the votes.
At the time of reporting, 100 percent of Cochise and Graham county precincts were reporting, along with with 87.5 percent of Greenlee and 33.33 percent of Pima counties.
Gowan, a Sierra Vista realtor, had previously served the district for eight years. His campaign was not without controversy: Apart from allegations resurfacing in regard to his use of state funds during a previous campaign, Gowan had also engaged in a war of words with current House representative Drew John, whom he accused of hiking taxes. Gowan had beat John in the August primaries with almost 44 percent of the votes to the latter’s nearly 29.
Gowan ran on a strong conservative platform, citing job and economic development, improved border security, and protecting Second Amendment, water, and property rights and balancing the budget among his top priorities.
He looks forward to getting back to “the service” following his win, he said.
“I’d just like to say thank you for everyone for supporting me, and when I get back up there, I’m going to be watching out for our region and serving the people the best way I can,” said Gowan. “Being able to get up there and help people — I enjoy it.
“I want to say thanks to all the people out there that supported me, and God bless to them.”
Fellow Republicans Griffin and Nutt will join Gowan at the Capitol, filling the two vacant House seats. Majority whip and incumbent Senate member Griffin took the seat with 39,685, or 32.97 percent, of the votes, while incumbent House member Nutt won with 38,685, or 32.47 percent of the votes.
The two women beat out Democrats Bob Karp, 70, and Shelley Renne-Leon, 58, for the seats.
Karp, a Sierra Vista real estate broker who listed improving health care and rural infrastructure as major issues during his campaign, had 21,025, or 17.65 percent of the votes.
Renne-Leon, an educator and small business owner who lives in Sierra Vista, had cited improving education as a major issue, and had 20,155, or 16.92 percent of the votes. It was the first run at state office for both Karp and Renne-Leon.
Griffin, who lives in Hereford, has served in the state Senate since 2011, where she chairs several committees. She plans to continue balancing the budget, working to protect property and water rights, making sure education dollars “get sent to the classroom,” and continuing her work to improve issues with the economies in all four counties of the district following her win, she said.
“I’m just honored to represent the people and my constituents in District 14, and I’m honored that I have their confidence to serve for another two years in the Arizona House of Representatives. My door is always open,” said Griffin. “Thank you very much for all those who supported me, and I look forward to interacting with each and every one of them.”
Nutt did not respond to requests for comment regarding the outcome of the election. The incumbent House member, who was elected in 2016, ran on a strong rural platform and cited economic development, pro-life and Second Amendment rights, and border security as major issues on her website.
The elected representatives will be sworn into office in January.