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After Sen. Crandell’s Death, Questions Remain in Outcome of Primary Election

Cheryl Evans/The Republic

The state’s chief election official said this afternoon Chester Crandell will be declared the winner of the Republican state senate primary even though he died Monday. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

On Monday, election officials had said write-ins could enter the GOP race after Crandell, running unopposed, died in an apparent horse-riding accident. But, Secretary of State Ken Bennett now says that’s not an option.

“Since the ballots have printed, there is no provision allowed for substituting someone else’s name on there or allowing write-ins,” Bennett said.

And, that means Crandell will be the only name on the GOP ballot for the Senate seat.

“The ballots will not be changed. Voters in his district, legislative district 6, are allowed to continue to cast votes for him. And any votes for Sen. Crandell will be tabulated. And since he is the only person on the ballot in the Republican primary for that Senate seat, it’s expected that he would win the primary,” Bennett said.

At that point, Republican party workers from the district, which encompasses parts of Coconino, Yavapai, Gila and Navajo counties, would name someone to be the GOP nominee on the general election ballot. Whoever they choose will face off in November against former Republican state lawmaker Tom O'Halleran who is running as an independent.

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