The editors of the Arizona Daily Star today endorsed the reelection of Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (CD 1), finding that her opponent, state Rep. Andy Tobin, has spent the last eight years being on the wrong side of every issue. Endorsement: Kirkpatrick in Congressional District 1:
The district is huge — including 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties. Its largest city is Flagstaff and it includes Marana on the south end of the district. But CD1 is mostly rural and poor. It encompasses the Grand Canyon and 12 other national parks as well as seven national forests. Twelve Native American tribes reside in the district.
Kirkpatrick told us 60 percent of people in the district are either on or eligible for public health care — Indian or veterans care, Medicaid or Medicare. She said she voted for the Affordable Care Act because it would help her constituents. Already 21,000 residents have benefited, she says.
Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, understands the huge footprint of the federal government in CD1. But she’s also shown independence in opposing the Obama administration when it would hurt the economy of District 1.
She’s spoken against environmental regulations that would shut down the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station at Page and put at risk the copper smelter at Hayden. She says she wants clean air but that the regulations have to take into account the impact on jobs. She wants Congress and the president to approve land swaps for a new copper mine at Superior.
When asked about her achievements and goals, Kirkpatrick mostly talks about district-specific issues, such as successfully adding protection for Native American women in the Violence Against Women Act. She also mentions a bill that gave a group of Flagstaff homeowners clear title to their property in a dispute with the Forest Service.
One important local and national issue she names as a priority is comprehensive immigration reform. She favors a Senate bill drafted by Republican Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain. One reason reform is so important, she says, is that her district includes farmers who need to hire guest workers from Mexico.
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The Star supports Kirkpatrick’s re-election.