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AP: Arizona Election Updates
PHOENIX (Associated Press) — Arizonans on Tuesday voted for Mitt Romney in a state that has a long history of supporting Republican presidential candidates.
Republican Jeff Flake has beaten former surgeon general Richard Carmona in the race to fill Arizona's U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Jon Kyl. Flake, a six-term Republican congressman, is best known for his fierce opposition to "earmarks" — special requests for federal dollars for local pet projects such as roads and bridges.
Democrats recruited Carmona to run for Kyl's seat after it became clear that then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wouldn't campaign because of head injuries she suffered during the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson.
The self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has won a sixth term after facing his most bruising re-election contest.
Republican incumbent Joe Arpaio was challenged by Democrat Paul Penzone and independent Mike Stauffer in Maricopa County sheriff's race. The two retired officers who challenged Arpaio have accused metro Phoenix's longtime sheriff of focusing too heavily on investigations that bring him publicity and ignoring many of the law enforcement duties he was hired to do.
In the county to the immediate south of metro Phoenix, Republican incumbent Paul Babeu won in his bid for a second term as Pinal County sheriff. Babeu faced Democrat Kevin Taylor and independent Ty Morgan.
The bruising battle between former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and ex-Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker for Arizona's 9th Congressional District showed no signs it would end easily Tuesday night.
Parker and Sinema were locked in a near dead heat as ballots were counted. Sinema was ahead by just 1 percentage point with 60 percent of the precincts reporting.
Results from Tuesday's general election will shrink Republicans' big majority in the Arizona Senate.
Several Republicans won races in battleground districts, but enough Democrats won in others to give their party 13 of the Senate's 30 seats, up from only nine now.
That shrinks the Republican current majority of 21 seats to 17.
Winners in key Senate races include Republicans John McComish and Chester Crandell as well as Democrats Ed Ableser, David Bradley, Barbara McGuire and Steve Farley.
Democrats also appear to be taking a handful of additional seats in the state House.
Updated on 11/6/2012 at 11:33 p.m.