Basha camp focuses on Pima County vote

The Associated Press

PHOENIX The race for governor of Arizona began to heat up as the campaign entered its final weekend.

Gov. Fife Symington and Democratic challenger Eddie Basha both predicted the race would go down to the wire.

"I've said from day one that this race would be a flip of the coin," said Basha, who had double-digit leads in earlier polls. "I've said from the beginning that I don't believe what the pollsters say and I've said the race will be won by the candidate who gets out the vote on election day."

Both candidates have been working hard in Pima County and in rural Arizona, traditional Democratic strongholds that could determine the outcome of the race.

Basha carried 12 of the 13 rural counties to win the Democratic primary and was depending on support from those areas to bolster his campaign against Symington.

"Eddie will have to do well in Pima County especially or he can't win," Merrill said.

Basha agreed on the importance of Pima County, where the turnout was a disappointing 26.8 percent for the Sept. 13 primary.

Rick DeGraw, Basha's campaign manager, said he is expecting a statewide turnout Tuesday in the 62-63 percent range. Pima County turnout is normally slightly lower than the statewide average, DeGraw said.

"We are aiming at the 59 percent, 60 percent range in Pima County," he said.

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