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Politics 101: What every local voter should know


U.S. Senate

There are 100 U.S. senators, two from each state; they serve six-year terms. Arizona is represented by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, both Republicans. Flake is not running for re-election this year, and McCain, who was re-elected in 2016, is fighting brain cancer.

Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate; Democrats have 47; Independents have two, and they caucus with the Democrats.

U.S. House of Representatives

The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, with all seats up for re-election every two years. As of July, Republicans have 236 seats; Democrats have 193; there are six vacancies. Each state gets seats based on population.

Arizona has nine seats, thus nine Congressional Districts; Green Valley and most of Sahuarita are in CD2, represented by Rep. Martha McSally. Rancho Resort in Sahuarita and rural areas west are in CD3, represented by Rep. Raul Grijalva.

Districts are reapportioned every 10 years after the U.S. Census. Arizona, because of population growth, is expected to pick up a 10th seat. The overall seat count always remains at 435, so if some states gain, others lose.


Pima County

Board of Supervisors

Nobody on the Pima County Board of Supervisors is up for re-election this year. Pima County is broken up into five supervisor districts. They oversee county business for incorporated (Sahuarita) and unincorporated (Green Valley) communities. For unincorporated areas such as Green Valley, the county is the first layer of government. Green Valley is in District 4, represented by Republican Steve Christy. Sahuarita is in parts of three districts: Christy; District 2 Supervisor Ramón Valadez (Democrat); and District 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson (Democrat). There are three Democrats and two Republicans on the board.


Sahuarita Town Council

Sahuarita has a Council-Manager form of government. Elected council members handle policy and hire a town manager to carry out day-to-day functions.

The council has seven members. There are three seats open this year; it is a non-partisan election.

The top three vote-getters in the Aug. 28 primary who receive at least a majority of the votes cast (per a town formula) win a seat. If all three seats are not filled Aug. 28, the remaining candidates go to the general election. The number of candidates moving to the general cannot be greater than double the number of seats open. Example: If two seats remain open after the primary, only four candidates can move on to the general election.

The council itself chooses a mayor and vice mayor. The public does not do that.


Voter registration

If you have a state-issued ID, you can register online at

If you have moved, you have until July 30 to register to be eligible to vote in the Aug 28 primary. The deadline for the Nov. 6 general election is Oct. 9.

Permanent Early Voter List

If you wish to be placed on Pima County’s Permanent Early Voter List, or vote-by-mail, you must register. Find information on the Pima County Recorder’s site:

Green Valley / Sahuarita Early Voting Site

Green Valley and Sahuarita voters can cast early primary ballots at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Cañada Drive weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13-24.

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