What election results so far mean for Arizona’s secular movement

Counting ballots continues for the 2022 midterm elections—part of the state’s usual process as county recorders tabulate early ballots dropped off on election night.

No winners have been called in most major races yet, and many are too close to call—including legislative races where it is still uncertain whether Democrats will flip key seats.

But regardless the outcome, voters have already sent a clear message: Christian nationalism far from represents an overwhelming majority of the state’s people.

Known good news

  • Secretary of State: Adrian Fontes (D) seems poised to defeat Christian nationalist election denier Mark Finchem for Secretary of State with a lead of over 109,000 votes.
  • Proposition 128: this proposition would allow Legislators to effectively nullify laws passed by citizens’ initiative—but it’s very likely to fail with about 63% of votes tabulated so far against it.

Glimmers of hope

No winners have been called in Arizona’s top-of-the-ticket races. But supporters of separation of church and state are holding narrow leads in key offices:

  • Governor: Katie Hobbs (D) is leading Kari Lake (R) 50.7% to 49.3%.
  • Superintendent of Public Education: Kathy Hoffman (D) is leading Tom Horne (R) 50.1% to 49.9%.
  • Legislature: The GOP’s stranglehold on the Legislature is hanging on by a thread, with ballots favoring Republicans by just a razor-thin margin in key races. (This includes LD-2, where Secular AZ Executive Director Jeanne Casteen trails her opponent by only 425 votes.) A single flipped seat in either the House or Senate would result in a tie in that chambers’ makeup.


What about School Boards?

Here’s a roundup of what’s going on in the races we’ve been watching:

Catalina Foothills School District

Secular supporters Amy Krauss, Amy Bhola, and Gina Mehmert are leading in a race for three seats.

Chandler Unified School District

In the lead for two open seats are secular supporter Patti Serrano and right-wing CSE opponent Kurt Rohrs.

Deer Valley Unified School District

Secular supporter Stephanie Simacek and right-wing militant Paul Carver are currently in the lead for two open seats.

Flagstaff Unified School Board

Secular supporters Kristine Pavlik and Erik Sather are in the lead for two open seats.

Mesa Unified School District

Secular supporter Marcie Hutchinson and right wing candidate Rachel Walden are in the lead for two open seats.

Marana Unified School District

Secular supporter Kathryn Mikronis has a clear lead so far. Conservative anti-masker Tom Carlson is maintaining a slim lead over secular supporter Abbie Hlavacek for the second of two open seats.

Paradise Valley Unified School District

In this three-seat race, secular supporters Kerry Baker and Tony Pantera hold leads, along with Save Our Schools-endorsed candidate Susan Matura.

Peoria Unified School District

Secular supporter Melissa Ewing and Christian nationalist Heather Rooks are in the lead for two open seats.

Scottsdale Unified School District

Secular supporter Robb Vaules and “parental rights” candidate Amy Carney share the lead in the race for two open seats.

Washington Elementary School District

Pro-secular candidates Kyle Clayton and Tamilia Valenzuela seem poised to edge out incumbent Board President Bill Adams in the race for two seats.

We’ll keep you informed as to the final results.