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Long night in store for candidates in 9th Congressional District

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With about half of ballots counted, the race is too close to call between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona’s new U.S. District 9.

Unofficial returns show Sinema, a former state lawmaker, and Parker, a Paradise Valley councilman, in a near tie.

The 9th Congressional District is the only one in the state where independents outnumber registered voters from the major parties. Republicans slightly outnumber Democrats.

The campaign was heated. Sinema accused Parker of being against education, Social Security and Medicare.

Parker accused Sinema of being “too far out” to send to Congress. His commercials also called her a Socialist, biased against stay-at-home moms.

Arizona added a ninth seat in Congress based on the 2010 Census. The 9th Congressional District includes parts of Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and Chandler.