Now that Gabby has said that she will resign Tuesday, we need to dust off the rules for Special Elections. I don't remember the exact dates, but these things go fast--like 90 days.
But that's not the focus of this post...the question is who wins and who loses. Here are some random thoughts. First, the resign to run law doesn't come into play. Everyone interested in the office will be in the last year of his or her term.
Sitting Legislators can't raise money during session, but I'm not sure it that applies to federal races...did Tim Bee raise money during session while he was running for Congress? What is Schapira doing now? Raising money for a federal office while serving in a position where you can't raise state money would look bad, but I'm not sure it it's illegal.
However, I would argue that any serious congressional candidate who is currently in the Legislature would have to resign. He or she can't work full time in Phoenix and expect to win a truncated race in Tucson.
The big winner on the Democratic side is Corporation Commissioner Paul Newman. He lives in the district, has great name recognition and isn't restricted from raising money. Moreover, he can run for Congress and if he loses, he can still run for re-election on at the ACC.
My guess is that Newman will announce immediately and that the other Dems won't want to resign from the legislature and will give him a free ride.
The big winner on the Republican side is Jonathan Paton. Paton raised nearly a million dollars in his last run and has plenty of residual name ID. He lost to Kelly, because Kelly's ground game was better. But it's going to be hard for Kelly to recreate that network on short notice.
So my initial reaction that the race will be Paton v. Newman.