Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CD2 is a crowded race on the Dem side: Dr. Matt Heinz is latest candidate to announce

Dylan Smith of the Tucson Sentinel reports that Taking pulse of crowded race, Heinz to again run for McSally’s seat.

Ensuring that there’ll be even more than 5–7 Democrats vying in the primary race to challenge Rep. Martha McSally for Arizona’s CD2 congressional seat, Matt Heinz isn’t waiting any longer: the doctor and 2016 Democratic candidate announced Tuesday that he’s back for another try.

Heinz got 43 percent of the vote last November, as McSally pulled the widest margin in the Southeastern Arizona district in years. But CD 2 also is leaning slightly more Democratic, and voted for Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump — meaning McSally out-performed with her win.

Any Democrat will have some catching up to do in the fundraising race, as the second-term Republican has shown herself to be a powerhouse at pulling in campaign money.

Local political observers have been anticipating an announcement from Heinz, who’s been quietly touting a poll that shows him favored over McSally 48–44 percent. The GOP congresswoman had a 53 percent disapproval rating in last month’s survey by Public Policy Polling.

“Martha McSally and her friends in Washington have unified control of the government – but instead of fighting to make things better for everyday Arizonans – McSally has been too busy circling the wagons around Donald Trump,” Heinz said in a campaign announcement. (See Smith’s report in the Sentinel for more on Dr. Matt Heinz.)

To be sure, McSally has been doing just that with her House votes that agree 100% with Trump’s positions. But I use a different metaphor for the Dems - think white sharks circling a swimmer. McSally is in trouble because of her support for Trumpism and lots of potential candidates smell the blood.

Also in the race for 2018 are political newcomer Billy Kovacs, geologist Alison Jones, pilot and Air Force vet Jeff Latas (who lost to Gabrielle Giffords in the 2006 Democratic primary that sent her on to Congress), former Assistant Secretary of the Army Mary Matiella, small business owner Charlie Verdin, and former state representative Bruce Wheeler (who’s tossed his hat into the CD2 ring only to pull it back out before).

Poised to jump into the race is Ann Kirkpatrick, the former CD 1 congresswoman who lost the U.S. Senate race to John McCain last year. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Barber has been working to build support for Kirkpatrick, who recently moved to Tucson to lay the foundation for a run here.

UPDATE: Candidate for AZ Governor Steve Farley today (morning of June 13) announced his support for Kirkpatrick.

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