Greg Stanton defeats Steve Ferrara in Arizona's 9th Congressional District race

Ronald J. Hansen
The Republic | azcentral.com
Greg Stanton, Democratic candidate for 9th District District, addresses the crowd at the election night watch party on Nov. 6, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel in Phoenix.

Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton won his congressional race Tuesday, defeating Republican Steve Ferrara and keeping a seat that his party has held since the district was created six years ago.

Unofficial results show Stanton, a Democrat, preserved the kind of support in the Phoenix-based 9th Congressional District that U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has had in her runs. Sinema left the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

For Republicans, it was another loss in a district that is considered competitive but has consistently backed Democrats in all four congressional races. Democrats hold a 4-percentage point registration advantage in the district.

"The results show the old adage remains true: There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America," Stanton said during a victory speech in Phoenix. "While we wait for some of the contests to be decided, I am humbled by the results in the 9th Congressional District and I am honored to be your next representative in Congress.

"Tonight voters sent a message loud and clear that we want political leaders who will unite us, not divide us; that it is time to work together because we are in this together."

Stanton borrowed from Sinema’s political playbook, presenting himself to voters as a problem-solver, not a partisan. He touted the city’s job and wage growth on his watch, which ran from 2012 until earlier this year.

Greg Stanton, Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative of Arizona's 9th Congressional District gives, his victory speech along with his family at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Nov. 6, 2018.

Stanton, like other Democrats nationally, also made the need to upgrade the nation’s health-care system a key issue.

Unlike many Republicans, Ferrara, a radiologist and former chief medical officer for the U.S. Navy, welcomed health care as an issue but struggled to differentiate his views from those of his party more broadly.

By contrast, Ferrara has sharply accused Stanton of cronyism as the city’s mayor and argued the poorest neighborhoods in Phoenix remained in a state of neglect. He cast himself as a reasonable Republican who could represent a district as politically diverse as the 9th District.

Both men seemed to agree on issues like the science of climate change and the need for comprehensive immigration reforms.

The district runs from north-central Phoenix between Interstate 17 and State Route 51 down to cover portions of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler and back into Ahwatukee Foothills in south Phoenix. It includes Arizona State University. 

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