• AZ-Gov (R): We have a nasty Republican race to succeed termed-out GOP Gov. Jan Brewer. State Treasurer Doug Ducey, who has long been viewed as the tentative frontrunner, looks like he'll come out on top but is not assured a victory. Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith entered the race late and has earned the endorsement of Brewer. Former GoDaddy attorney Christine Jones is heavily spending her own money. Secretary of State Ken Bennett is also in the mix but has attracted very little attention.
The three major candidates and their well-funded allies have been busy targeting one another. Ducey has primarily been attacked for his service as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery; Jones has been portrayed as dishonest about her past and weak on immigration enforcement; Smith has been targeted for his past support of the Obama Administration's Medicaid expansion. Ducey has posted clear leads in the last few polls, but given how bad GOP primary polls have been this year a surprise is always possible. The winner will take on Democratic Regent Fred DuVal. Team Blue starts out the underdog but has a shot here, though the relatively moderate Smith would probably be DuVal's toughest foe.
Head over the fold for a look at Tuesday's other key races.
• AZ-01 (R): Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is expected to be a major Republican target in this light red northern Arizona seat, but her competition is unimpressive. State House Speaker Andy Tobin looked like the clear frontrunner when he entered the race, and is the preferred candidate of national Republicans. However, Tobin's fundraising has been very weak, and he has not been able to run any ads. Tobin also got some attention in the final week of the race when he suggested immigrant children could be carrying Ebola.
Even so, Tobin's probably the most formidable GOP candidate. Rancher Gary Kiehne can self-fund but is very undisciplined, making news in March for suggesting that “99 percent of (mass shootings) have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people.” Freshman state Rep. Adam Kwasman has been a weak fundraiser and he became a national laughingstock in July when he confused a bus full of YMCA campers for undocumented child immigrants. A recent independent poll shows this as a tossup between Tobin and Kwasman.
• AZ-07 (D): Two well-known Democrats are facing off in this open and safely blue Phoenix seat. State Rep. Ruben Gallego, who has the endorsement of Daily Kos, has outspent former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox $352,000 to $313,000 in the last month-and-a-half, and has posted leads in what few polls there are. Wilcox for her part has the endorsement of retiring Rep. Ed Pastor.
This race has gotten very nasty. Wilcox made news in June when she tried to get Gallego thrown off the ballot for changing his name: Gallego was originally born Ruben Gallego Marinelarena, and changed his name legally in 2008 to honor his mother, who raised him and his siblings after his father left. Wilcox has also accused Gallego of supporting stand-your-ground laws and used Trayvon Martin's likeness in mailers.
• AZ-09 (R): Two Republicans are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in this light blue seat outside of Phoenix. Air Force veteran Wendy Rogers has outspent Andrew Walter, a former ASU and NFL player, $221,000 to $158,000 in the last several weeks. Walter ran into some controversy for hosting a fundraiser with booze, cigars, and guns.
• AZ-AG (R): Republican Attorney General Tom Horne has made news during his first term, but for all the wrong reasons. Horne is currently under investigation for allegedly using state personnel and resources for his campaign. Horne also got some horrible headlines when an FBI investigation caught him fleeing a fender-bender in a parked garage as he was leaving from an affair.
Prominent Republicans are largely either backing Horne's primary foe, former state Gambling Director Mark Brnovich, or remaining neutral. Horne has outspent Brnovich but he looks like he's in big trouble on Tuesday. The Democrats are fielding Felecia Rotellini, who did relatively well against Horne in 2010. Rotellini's odds would be much better if the damaged Horne made it through on Tuesday, but she looks formidable in her own right.
• FL-18 (R): Freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy holds a light red seat, but the Republicans have a disappointing crop of six candidates to choose from. Former state Rep. Carl Domino looks like the consensus choice and he has outspent each of his opponents, but a surprise is possible in this low-intensity race. Also in the mix are former Tequesta Councilmember Calvin Turnquest and Alan Schlesinger, the 2006 GOP U.S. Senate nominee in Connecticut.
• FL-26 (R): Five Republicans are trying to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia in this Democratic-trending but still swingy seat. The clear favorite in the GOP primary is Miami Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo, who has raised far more than any of his contenders. Scandal-tarred former Rep. David Rivera is also running, and while Democrats would love him to win, he looked like a longshot even before he was named a co-conspirator in a campaign finance case.
• OK-05 (R): Two Republicans are facing off in the runoff for this heavily Republican Oklahoma City-area seat. State Corporate Commissioner Patrice Douglas has outspent former state Sen. Steve Russell $202,000 to $149,000 in the homestretch. However, Russell narrowly out-polled Douglas in June despite being heavily outspent. Russell may also get a boost from his military background: He was one of the soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein in 2003.
• Other statewide races:
Arizona will host competitive Republican primaries in open seat races for secretary of state and state treasurer. In Florida, two Democrats are competing to unseat Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi: George Sheldon, who has had a long career in state politics, and state House Minority Leader Perry Thurston. Either Democrat would start out at a severe financial disadvantage to the well-funded Bondi.