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Pivotal races for Arizona governor, US Senate on Tuesday’s primary ballot

2022 primary election
Ryan Heinsius/KNAU
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A sign directs voters to the polls on Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus during primary Election Day on Tue, Aug. 2, 2022.

Arizona is among five states holding primary elections today. The results in the highly contested battleground are some of the most closely watched in the nation during this year’s election cycle.

Open races are being held for three of Arizona’s top statewide offices. All feature Donald Trump-backed Republicans who push the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. The contentious GOP contest for governor pits the Trump-endorsed Kari Lake against Karrin Taylor Robson, who’s been backed by former Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Doug Ducey. He’s prevented from running again because of term limits. The winner is expected to face Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

The GOP primary for secretary of state, which is Arizona’s top election official, is also being closely watched. South Phoenix State Representative Mark Finchem, also an aggressive election denier, is running for secretary of state. He’ll take on the winner of the Democratic race between former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and state House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding. Election observers are also focusing on the state's attorney general race.

Meanwhile, several Republicans are vying to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Kelly in one of the nation’s most expensive Senate races. According to Open Secrets, more than $78 million has been raised so far.

On the Navajo Nation, voters will choose two finalists for tribal president out a field of 15 candidates. Current President Jonathan Nez is seeking reelection, and challengers include former Navajo Attorney General Ethel Branch and former tribal vice presidential candidate Buu Van Nygren.

Polls are open until 7 p.m.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.