Incumbent Rep. Walt Blackman and Republican Brenda Barton both secured enough votes to represent Legislative District Six in the Arizona state House of Representatives, beating both Independent Art Babbott and Democrat Coral Evans, as reported by the Arizona Secretary of State website.
Blackman and Barton each received 28.39% and 26.04% of the vote, respectively, to become the next representatives of LD Six whereas Evans received 25.89% of the vote and Babbottt received only 19.68% of the vote.
Blackman, who was the first Black Republican elected to the Arizona legislature, will retain his seat in LD Six after battling to keep it in Republican hands. Meanwhile, Barton returns to the seat she vacated in 2018 due to term limits.
Both Blackman and Barton were outraised and outspent by their opponents throughout the race, but they each managed an upset against Evans and Babbott. Evans led the pack Tuesday, but that lead slipped as the night went on and Blackman took the lead by a significant margin.
On Tuesday night, in an exclusive interview with The Lumberjack before the results were final, Evans thanked her constituents and her team for their support throughout the race.
“I want to thank all of my supporters because I have had a team of over 17,000 volunteers and they have made over 185,000 phone calls into this district asking for people to vote for me,” Evans said. “I think that’s phenomenal, and I am just so thankful for their support throughout this race, no matter the outcome.”
The seat was considered by Arizona Democrats as a must-win in order to swing the majority in the state House. A win by both candidates would have been historic as the district has only ever elected Republicans to the state House. However, LD Six will continue to be controlled by Arizona Republicans for the next two years.