Race for Congressional District 1: Democratic candidates
Project Red White and Blue
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Two Democrats hope to win over voters in Congressional District 1.
Congressional District 1 covers several small cities and towns in the state. The district stretches up to the Utah border and as far south as Pinal County.
Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick and Wenona Benally Baldenegro are running against each other in the primary.
Benally Baldenegro and Kirkpatrick are both attorneys and both live in Flagstaff.
We contacted the two candidates to speak with them one-on-one. 9OYS had a phone interview setup with Benally Baldenegro, but she cancelled it. A spokesperson said she was, “too busy.”
9OYS was able to speak with Kirkpatrick over the phone to discuss her campaign. The former CD1 Congresswoman said she’s focused on creating jobs.
“There are three areas that we can focus on to create good paying jobs,” she stated. “First, is emerging technology, like biotech, wind and solar, but it’s more than just the energy creation it’s also bringing back manufacturing, those components that are used into those industries.”
She explained the second area of focus to create jobs is protecting the environment.
“Some of the wildlife preserve around Tucson are very important to us, in terms to our quality of life, and they create jobs, so we need to protect that,” said Kirkpatrick.
She said she’d also work to support higher education to create jobs.
The University of Arizona graduate tells 9OYS, "It is very important to keep our higher education system strong."
When asked about immigration reform, Kirkpatrick said we need an immigration strategy.
"We need to secure the border, but we also need to think about an immigration strategy that addresses the economic needs for these industries," said Kirkpatrick.
9OYS asked Kirkpatrick about Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB-1070. She poignantly said she’s against it.
"[It] did nothing to solve the problem," she said. "I am not in favor of amnesty, but SB-1070 did nothing to move us toward a real solution and an immigration strategy that works."
The Democratic winner will move on to face the Republican nominee. Patrick Gatti, Gaither Martin and Jonathan Paton are the Republican candidates.
Doug Wade pulled out of the race, but not early enough to get his name off the ballot.