Shooter unopposed in bid for state senate seat
Lawmaker Nelson withdraws from race
Yuma Republican Don Shooter is now unopposed in his bid to represent the state's newly formed legislative District 13 in the Arizona Senate.
John Nelson, a veteran Arizona legislator, was running against Shooter for the Republican nomination for the senate seat in the Aug. 28 primary. However, Nelson announced Thursday that he's dropping his re-election bid. The Litchfield Park Republican has served in either the House or Senate since 2001. He previously served for 16 years on the Phoenix City Council.
With Nelson's departure from the race, Shooter is unopposed in both the primary and the general election for the senate seat. Shooter had served the last two years as the senator for Yuma County.
District 13 as drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission generally covers the northern part of Yuma County stretching to the western part of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
With the redistricting there had been concern that Yuma County no longer would have local representation in the legislature. However, that's not the case, at least for this election. In fact, two Yuma-area residents are running unopposed to represent the two new legislative districts that include parts of Yuma County.
Lynn Pancrazi, a Democrat who has served two terms as a Yuma County representative, also is unopposed in her bid to fill the senate seat for the newly formed legislative District 4 that includes southern Yuma County and much of Pima County.
While Nelson has withdrawn from the senate race for District 13, his name will still appear on the primary ballot because it has already been printed. His announced intention to formally withdraw from the race means any votes cast for him won't count.
Early ballots for the primary will start going out in the mail on Aug. 2.
July 30 is the deadline for people to register to vote in the primary if they aren't already registered voters, said Sue Reynolds, Yuma County election officer.
Shooter said his first reaction was sadness when he heard that Nelson had withdrawn from the race and was critical of the redistricting process that pitted him against another man he considered a good colleague in state government.
“He was a good public servant for many years ... a good man,” Shooter said of Nelson. “The state of Arizona will miss him.”
Shooter said he hopes to continue to work with Nelson “to represent Yuma and all the parts of the new district.”
He noted that three of the state's four military bases lie within District 13: Marine Air Station Yuma, Yuma Proving Ground and Luke Air Force Base.
“I'm proud to be able to go back and fight for Yuma,” Shooter said. “I feel I did some good before and I'm committed to doing anything I can to improve the business climate in Arizona and Yuma County.”
Nelson said he decided to retire from public office to spend more time with his family. He does plan to continue to serve the community, including seeing Proposition 119 through the November general election. The proposition, which was referred to voters by the Legislature, would allow the state to implement land exchanges to preserve the state's military facilities.
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.