Election Day: What It Means to You

Election Day: What It Means to You

President of the United States
Donald Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton 276-218, with a few states remaining to be decided as of this morning.

What this means:
It is too early to tell. The billionaire businessman who has never previously held elected office shocked America and the world, defeating Secretary Hillary Clinton in an extraordinary rebuke to the nation’s political class after an general election race that will go down as the most stunning upset in American history. As results poured in last night, markets around the world began to react. Futures on the market in the United States dropped significantly, though by the time the market opened, the damage had lessened. In a campaign with little policy substance by either candidate, the transition will be critical to get a feel for how his tenure in the office of POTUS will be. Watch for appointment names to start being leaked next week.


United States Senate
The Republicans kept a majority in the US Senate with 51 seats to the Democrats 45 (+2 in caucus). Two seats remain undecided: New Hampshire between Ayotte and Hassan, and Louisiana has a runoff election on December 10.

Senator McCain easily won re-election. Look for him to remain Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as well as a continued inner-leader of the Senate.

What this means:
The US Senate is now the most important check on federal policy. Procedural votes require 60 votes, so moving legislation through the Senate will be difficult. Much as Republicans were accused of inhibiting President Obama’s agenda, look for the Senate Democrats to be accused of the same thing. If the Republicans don’t work with Democrats, look for voter backlash in 2018. Top of the list of races to watch: Our own Senator Jeff Flake, who was an outspoken opponent of President-elect Trump. Senator Flake will face a strong primary challenge and likely another battle in the general election.


United States House of Representatives
In no surprise, the House remained solidly red even with losing 9 seats. There are still 9 Congressional races remaining to be decided at this time – two in Louisiana, and 7 in California.

In Arizona, no surprises occurred. Tom O’Halleran easily beat Paul Babeu to fill the open District 1 seat, previously filled by Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick who challenged McCain for the Senate. Congresswoman McSally took an early lead in results and never looked back, beating Dr. Matt Heinz with a sizable margin for the district, 56% to 43%.

What this means:
The House will be able to pass any legislation it wants to. With the animosity between many members and President-elect, it will be interesting to see what leadership changes occur. Similar to the Democrat majority in 2008, the House Republicans have some heavy lifting to do. They must appease the base of the party and pass major policy initiatives, without ignoring the Democrats. If they banish the Democrats and don’t include them, they Republicans are likely to lose the majority of the House in 2018 – just like the Democrats did in 2008 after ramming through legislation without support of the other party (i.e. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).


Arizona Corporation Commission
The Republican slate of Burns, Tobin and Dunn swept the race, taking all three open seats.

What this means:
Look to have the solar energy/distributed generation issue settled next year. After a contentious race with significant outside money and accusation of improper actions by commissioners, the addition of Boyd Dunn (a retired Superior Court judge) should help bring an environment of ethics by commissioners being in the forefront. Tobin will continue to be a voice for small business at the Commission.


Arizona Senate & House
Republicans stayed in control of the Arizona Senate, winning 17 of the 30 seats. The Arizona House Republicans won at least 31 seats. There are still races to be decided, but the majority will not switch.

What this means:
This is the status quo in Arizona. Pressure will be on the Legislature to figure out the so called “4, 5, 6 steps” for education. JD Mesnard will be the new speaker of the House of Representatives with a new tone and tenure from the leadership on the House side.


Southern Arizona will have one less voice in the majority, as it looks like Representative Chris Ackerley will not win re-election – that race is very close, though he is in third place.


Arizona Ballot Measures
Prop 205 (recreational marijuana legalization) looks like it has failed.

Prop 206 passed overwhelmingly, winning 60%-40%, nearly identical to pre-election polling on the subject of the minimum wage.

What this means:
Marijuana will be back – either in the legislature, or again on the ballot.

Arizonans sent a clear message they think the minimum wage should be higher in the state. Watch for prices to rise slightly, job growth to slow for low-skill, low wage positions, and under-18 unemployment to soar next summer. Business owners have until January 1, 2017 to implement a paid time off policy for all employees.


Local Races
Pima County Supervisors Elias and Valadez won re-election and newcomer Steve Christy won District 4 easily. Incumbent Supervisors Miller and Bronson are both in the lead and likely to win, but the races are too close to call at this time.

The incumbent County Attorney, Recorder, Assessor and Treasurer all won re-election easily. Dustin Williams and Margaret Burkholder are in a close race for Pima County School Superintendent still, with Williams up 51%-48%.

In perhaps the oddest race of all, the Tucson Unified S.D. board race ended up with two high profile incumbents and a newcomer winning. Incumbents Mark Stegeman, Kristal Ann Foster and first time candidate Rachel Sedgwick won the 7-way race.

What this means:
Pima County remains the same, but with the addition of a strong voice for business. Christy brings decades of experience working in the region – watch for him to lead on making business friendly, pro-economic growth policy changes at the County.

A new sheriff is in town. Mark Napier takes over a sheriff’s department that is in turmoil after numerous leadership changes, an unfortunate death and another being indicted for misuse of funds in the Department. Look for a new sheriff’s department and community partner.