An open state House of Representatives seat in the November race for the largest legislative district in Gilbert raises the question of whether the political landscape will change for the town at the state Capitol.
Members of the Gilbert Town Council have been at odds with District 22 legislators and active party precinct members on many issues since battling in late 2005 over whether the town should provide fire services to unincorporated residents who didn't want to annex into the town.
This election cycle, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, is term-limited in the House, and his seat opens up for new candidates. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, who lives on a Gilbert county island, has already filed paperwork to run for what would be his last two-year House term before he's term-limited.
In the September primaries, voters at this point have three Republicans and one Democrat to choose from for the two House seats.
Running alongside Biggs for the House seats on the Republican side is Adam Armer, an active member of the Republican District 22 precinct committee. Also filing papers as a Republican candidate is Mary Burns of Mesa, who could not be reached for comment.
Armer, of Mesa, said he would serve similar to the incumbents.
"I'd like to see somebody like myself, who's going to make decisions based on their conservative values," he said.
He said he supports allowing local governments to make decisions without state control, but added he didn't think it was likely that the tensions between District 22 and local politicians would be alleviated for another two to three years.
Running as the lone Democrat is Glenn Ray, who ran last year for the Senate. Ray said he has specific plans for the state, including improving economic development and using technology to improve public safety.
"I challenge all the candidates in District 22 to sign a pledge with me," he said, "that we will work together to solve Arizona's problems, and the ideas of partisan politics we do not support."
Sen. Thayer Verschoor is the only candidate who's filed paperwork to begin planning a campaign for his Senate seat. Verschoor is the majority leader of the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.
To register to vote or for more information, visit www.azsos.gov/election/VoterRegistration.htm or call (602) 506-1511.