Aug 5, 2014 4:11 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - The death of Republican state Sen. Chester Crandell has boosted the chances for an independent to be elected to the Legislature for the first time in recent memory.
Crandell was unopposed in the GOP primary and was set to take on independent Tom O'Halleran in the November general election. He was found dead Monday after an apparent horseback riding accident near his home in Heber.
O'Halleran is a former lawmaker from Sedona who would have had an uphill battle taking on Crandell as an incumbent.
The state Republican Party now must choose a candidate to appear on the general election ballot to take on O'Halleran in November.
Crandell's 6th Legislative district takes in parts of Navajo, Coconino, Yavapai and Gila counties.
12 hours ago