San Tan Valley, AZ
Legislative District 16
David Farnsworth's 2013 appointment followed the departure of former District 16 Sen. Rich Crandall, a centrist who resigned to take a Wyoming job. The further-right Farnsworth said after taking office that "I don't think there will be anyone who will mistake us."
Now, Farnsworth is facing up-and-comer Taylor McArthur as he attempts to hold onto his seat.
In addition to his time as a senator, Farnsworth served one term in the House shortly after the 1994 Republican Revolution. The 63-year-old real-estate investor believes the Constitution was "divinely inspired" and views the role of government as "protect(ing) the liberty of the people."
Farnsworth has identified construction of maintenance of freeways and transportation infrastructure as an area of improvement and said he believes "there are many funds that should be shifted to be used more efficiently."
At 18, McArthur started the commercial-cleaning outfit McArthur Janitorial, followed by a series of small-business endeavors during his time at Arizona State University. At 24, he is the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry's director of events.
McArthur's age has not stopped him from amassing high-profile endorsements, including from U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. He believes "Arizona has the potential to lead the nation in innovation, entrepreneurship, education and job creation."
Two years ago, District 16's Republican primary pitted "tea party" conservatives against more-centrist candidates. Voters got one of each, with the selection of Greater Phoenix Tea Party co-founder Kelly Townsend and former Apache Junction Mayor Doug Coleman.
Both are looking to keep their seats this year.
Townsend, a 45-year-old small-business owner, has described herself as a "Reagan conservative," social conservative and fiscal conservative who will protect the "traditional family" and individual freedoms.
"Many independents say they didn't leave the party, the party left them," she said. "There are specific planks of the GOP platform that are being violated, and many feel they can no longer identify with the behavior of many Republican politicians. ... I a