Multiple sources are reporting that eighth-term Rep. Trent Franks (R) is resigning tonight… we don’t know the details yet but it seems likely he was caught up in the #pervnado (Update: Franks apparently asked staffers to be his surrogate…mmkay.) Franks will apparently leave office at the end of January. The decision opens up his R+13 AZ-8 in a special election, which must occur relatively quickly by AZ law. The seat covers the middle-class and heavily Republican northwest corner of the Phoenix metro area, including Surprise, Peoria, and most of Glendale. The seat, one of the four GOP vote sinks in the Mathismander, is somewhat more downscale than AZ-6 next door and heavy with snowbird retirees; the Dem base here is largely Hispanic. The seat should stay safely in GOP hands barring something seriously unexpected.
The Great Mentioner could start with State Sen. Steve Montenegro (R), who is currently primarying incompetent incumbent SoS Michele Reagan (R) but could switch here as an easier race. Another statewide condender, State Sen. and Treasurer candidate Kimberly Yee (R), represents a piece of the seat (though I believe she lives outside it) and could move here. State Sen. Debbie Lesko (R) is definitely worth watching as well. The final State Senator in the seat, Judy Burges (R), is probably too old to be interested at 74. There are also roughly 7 GOP State Reps. in or near the seat. From local office, Maricopa County supervisor Clint Hickman (R) is the obvious name to watch as he represents essentially the entire seat. Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers (R) and Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat (R) could also be names to watch. Theoretically ex-Rep. and Heir Force Maj.
Brock Landers Ben Quayle could also make a comeback attempt here. Democrats are unlikely to seriously contest this seat, but they do have one candidate worth watching in Surprise Mayor Sharon Marko-Wolcott (D), who was a Minnesota State Senator (!) and ran for MN-2 back in 2006.