Representative Hershberger, finishing his last session as a term-limited Representative, has forced a Republican primary in LD26 by challenging returning candidate Al Melvin for state Senate.
In 2006, Melvin soundly upset Senator Toni Hellon in the primary only to lose by a few hundred votes to Democrat Charlene Pesquiera in the general election. After the election, Al Melvin immediately declared himself a candidate for 2008 and has been the sole Republican declared until now.
Pete Hershberger, bound by the resign-to-run law, kept silent about his desire to fight for a seat in the Senate. Now he's looking to bump Melvin out of the race so he can extend his time in the legislature, an action long anticipated by many.
This will prove to be the most clearly divided race in Southern Arizona with Pete, known to campaign with Democrats, in one corner, and Al, the staunch party conservative, in the other.
This race will be anything but boring.