Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is running for re-election in Arizona’s 1st District. She’s had a difficult ride in the red state, winning a House seat in 2008 but losing her bid for re-election to Republican Paul Gosar in the 2010 GOP sweep. For the 2012 election, redistricting essentially separated Gosar and Kirkpatrick, giving her the chance to run again. She won the seat, but some thought her vote on the Affordable Care Act reduced her support in Arizona and she squeaked-by with a 3 point margin of victory.
Kirkpatrick is seen as someone who fights for rural Arizona. She’s currently working to make permanent the Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) program, which brings in badly needed funding for vital services to counties in states like Arizona with large areas of nontaxable, federal land. Kirkpatrick has been endorsed by numerous officials in District 1 cities and counties. One endorsement from Greenlee County Sheriff Larry Avila:
Ann has experience as a county prosecutor, so she knows how important public safety is to a community. Her work has made Greenlee County better for our families and I look forward to having her continue fighting for us in Washington.
Kirkpatrick’s opponents maintain her support for Obamacare is a weakness. She surprised so-called “angry voters” by walking out of a 2009 town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act. It turned out to be a smart move; there may have been some “angry voters”, but most turned-out to be fake, part of a nation-wide harrassment strategy funded by teabagger groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks designed to show a phoney picture of overwhelming opposition to the ACA in town halls full of teabaggers bussed-in from other areas.
Kirkpatrick points-out that although she voted for the ACA, she has called attention to the problems with Obamacare. Kirkpatrick teamed-up with Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) to ask HHS Secretary Sebelius to look into the difficulty Arizonans were having with ACA enrollment (reminder: GOP Governor Jan Brewer went against her own party and approved Medicaid expansion under the ACA in Arizona). In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made adjustments that increased flexibility for enrollees.
The House Majority PAC released a campaign video on the issues with Kirkpatrick and the ACA:
Kirkpatrick is ready for the campaign and will receive support from state Democrats and the DNC. She has raised $1.2 million and still has around $825k on hand. Assuming she’s the nominee, her challengers in the general include Republicans Andy Tobin (Speaker of the Arizona House), businessman Adam Kwasman and cattle rancher Gary Kiehne.
Research by Doug Marquardt and S. Luther.