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Top Races in 2016: The Southwest

Two House races in Arizona are among the most-watched around the country. (Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the sixth in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in 2016. The Southwest region covers Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  

Arizona's 1st District: Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate bid creates an open-seat headache for Democrats. But Republicans have a crowded primary including state Speaker David Gowan, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and wealthy rancher/2014 candidate Gary Kiehne. Democrats look poised to nominate former GOP state Sen. Tom O’Halleran. The late August primary virtually guarantees the campaign committees will shoulder much of the financial burden in the general election.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rating: Tossup .  

Texas' 23rd District: For much of last cycle, even GOP strategists didn’t give Will Hurd a chance of winning. But he defeated Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego, 50 percent to 48 percent. Gallego is running again to reclaim the sprawling west Texas district and hoping that the presidential year will draw more Hispanic voters. Hurd had $856,000 in the bank at the end of September compared to a modest $307,000 for Gallego. But the former congressman is beloved by Democrats and he should have the financial help he needs to stay competitive.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup.  

Arizona's 2nd District: To some Democrats, this seat still belongs to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but they will have a hard time taking it back from Republican Martha McSally. She lost a close race to Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in 2012 and came back to defeat him in 2014. McSally had a whopping $1.7 million in the bank on Sept. 30 while Democrats are headed for a late August primary between state Rep. Victoria Steele and former state Rep. Matt Heinz.  

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Leans Republican.  

What races would you add to the list?

Related:
Top Races in 2016: New England Top Races in 2016: Mid-Atlantic States Top Races in 2016: The South Top Races in 2016: The Midwest

Top Races in 2016: The Plains States Top Races in 2016: The West Top Races in 2016: Mountain Region Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016 Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.