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With No Votes Counted, the Tea Party Has Already Won Arizona's Governor's Race

Scott Smith
Scott SmithPhotograph by Samantha Sais/The New York Times via Redux

For most of the year, and certainly throughout the primary season, the big struggle in the Republican Party has been between the Tea Party wing and the business community. That’s not the case in Arizona, where GOP primary voters are casting their ballots on Tuesday to determine who will succeed outgoing governor Jan Brewer. Immigration has dominated the race, and the business candidates are basically indistinguishable from the Tea Partiers.

Two of the three leading candidates are former business executives: Doug Ducey, the state treasurer and former chief executive officer of Cold Stone Creamery, and Christine Jones, a former executive at GoDaddy, the Web domain hosting company best known for its racy Super Bowl ads. Each has been busily trying to outdo the other’s appeal to conservative base voters allergic to Senate-style comprehensive immigration reform who have become further agitated by the child migrant crisis that has dominated conservative media these last few months.