New Print Edition: Tennessee Senate & Arizona 5
May 3, 2006 · 2:07 PM EDT
Tennessee Senate: Three’s Company
By Nathan L. Gonzales
Senator Harold Ford. Those might be the three words Republicans fear the most on Election Night. If Democrats can successfully takeover the open Tennessee Senate seat being vacated by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R), they could well win a Senate majority in November.
Democratic hopes are riding on the young Democratic congressman from Memphis, while three Republicans are battling for their party’s mantle. Former congressman Ed Bryant, former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker, and former congressman Van Hilleary will face off in the August 3 GOP Primary.
Going into the general election, the Republican nominee will start with the advantage over Ford. But even though the Democratic congressman has a handful of tall hurdles in front of him, he should not be underestimated.
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Arizona 5: Turning Up the Heat
Republican Cong. J.D. Hayworth is no stranger on the cable television circuit, but he isn’t used to seeing his name on Democratic target lists. Now, former state Sen. Harry Mitchell (D) is in the race and is looking to give the congressman his toughest race in a decade.
Mitchell is a well-known quantity in Tempe, where he was mayor for sixteen years. But Tempe is only about one-third of the suburban Phoenix-area 5th Congressional District. Democrats believe the national mood of the country and specific allegations linking Hayworth with discredited lobbyist Jack Abramoff puts this seat, which has not been competitive for years, into play.
But Hayworth has never been one to back down from a debate or a challenge. The district favors Republicans both in voter registration and voting patterns, and the Republican will be well funded.
Democrats failed to get a top-tier recruit against Rick Renzi (R) in the 1st District, but they have succeeded in putting the 5th District into play for now. (The state’s filing deadline is not until June.)
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