Democrats make gains in Arizona legislature, but still minority

November 07, 2012

Democrats will still be in the minority when the state legislature comes back into session in January, but they appear to have picked up some seats in both the Arizona House and Senate. There will be more Democrats than there have been for the last two years. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: Republicans have had two-thirds majorities in both chambers the last two years. And, as predicted, that will not be the case next year. Former House Speaker Kirk Adams says the GOP will still be able to pass the bills it wants to pass, but it could be more difficult.

KIRK ADAMS: When you have 21 Republican votes, like they have now in the state Senate, you have a lot of leeway to lose a few people and still get the agenda passed. When you’re down to 17, or maybe even 16, your leeway is gone.

BRODIE: Adams blames redistricting for Republicans losing seats in the legislature. Senate Minority Leader David Schapira says smaller GOP majorities should affect the bills that come out of the legislature.

DAVID SCHAPIRA: 17-13 is what the Senate breakdown was when I came into the legislature when Governor Napolitano was still here. And, I’ll tell you, it really changed the climate of that chamber to be that close. One or two Republican votes can really affect the outcome, depending on attendance that day.

BRODIE: Schapira says the closer the margins, the more influence each Republican senator has on every bill.

Election results from the Arizona Secretary of State.

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