Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 3rd term.

Born: March 14, 1950, McNary

Home: Flagstaff

Education: U. of AZ, B.A., 1972; J.D., 1979

Professional Career: Practicing lawyer, 2011-12; instructor, Coconino Community College, 2005; Sedona city attorney, 1990-91; Pima deputy county attorney, 1981-85; Coconino deputy county attorney, 1980-81

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Roger Curley) , 4 children

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick returned to the House in 2012 after serving one term and losing her bid for reelection in 2010. In seeking to give Native Americans a greater voice in Washington, she literally tries to speak their language; she grew up speaking Apache and took lessons to learn Navajo.

Kirkpatrick hails from the White Mountain Apache Nation reservation in eastern Arizona. Her father owned a general store and her mother was a public school teacher. Her uncle, William Bourdon, served in the state legislature, and while still in elementary school, Kirkpatrick campaigned for him. After earning her bachelor’s degree from University of Arizona, she spent two years teaching in Tucson. She subsequently earned a law degree and worked as a prosecutor for the Coconino County Attorney’s Office, specializing in drug crime cases. She later served as the city attorney of Sedona.

In 2004, Kirkpatrick ran for the Arizona House of Representatives. At the time, conventional wisdom held that a non-Indian could not be elected in state District 2, where two-thirds of the registered voters were Native Americans. Undeterred, Kirkpatrick challenged incumbent Rep. Sylvia Laughter, a Navajo and political independent. Kirkpatrick campaigned door-to-door and won. In office, she worked to provide Indian tribes with money to build communications infrastructure.

When allegations of misconduct by incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., surfaced in 2007, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee identified the seat as one of its top targets in the 2008 election. Kirkpatrick resigned from the state legislature to campaign for the Democratic nomination. (Renzi opted not to seek reelection and was eventually indicted on charges relating to a land deal that allegedly benefited one of his former business partners.) Kirkpatrick won a four-way Democratic primary with 47% of the vote, and the DCCC helped with a fall advertising campaign. In the general election, she soundly defeated GOP antitax activist Sydney Hay. In the House, Kirkpatrick mostly supported President Barack Obama’s agenda, voting for the $787 billion economic stimulus bill and the 2010 health care law.

Running for reelection for the first time in 2010, Kirkpatrick was challenged by Republican Paul Gosar, a dentist and political newcomer. Gosar attacked her for supporting the health care law and took a hard line on immigration, touting his endorsement from controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his crackdowns on illegal immigrants. Kirkpatrick refused to follow many other Democrats in tight reelection contests who distanced themselves from the Obama administration, and she lost the race, 50% to 44%. During the intervening two years, Kirkpatrick practiced law out of her house. She also dealt with tragedy after her mentor and good friend, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others were shot, six of them fatally, by a gunman in front of a Tucson-area grocery store. “I was devastated and grieved for a long time,” Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick eventually decided to run again. By 2012, redistricting had altered the 1st District to make it more favorable to a Democrat. Gosar, the Republican incumbent who had defeated Kirkpatrick in 2010, decided to run for reelection in the newly created and GOP-friendly 4th District. She told National Journal, “I kind of looked around to see if there was anybody else in the district who was interested and who could win, and basically it boiled down to, ‘We’ll give it another try.’ ”

In mounting her comeback, Kirkpatrick faced Republican Jonathan Paton, an Iraq War veteran and former state legislator, in the vast, rejiggered 1st District. Both candidates had to travel extensively to campaign, and the district’s sizeable Native American population worked to Kirkpatrick’s advantage. Democrats attacked Paton for the brief work he did as a lobbyist for the payday-lending industry, while he hammered Kirkpatrick for spending too much taxpayer money on her staff. But 2012 proved to be a better year for Democrats than 2010, and Kirkpatrick pulled out a 49%-45% win over Paton, with Libertarian Kim Allen getting 6%.

In the House, Kirkpatrick has struck up a surprisingly congenial working relationship with former foe Gosar. The two work closely together on legislation that affects their adjoining districts, including a plan to generate new jobs with the creation of a copper mine. It requires federal approval of a land swap with mine operator Resolution Copper Mining Co., but the plan has drawn opposition from environmentalists. Kirkpatrick even sponsored with Gosar a town hall meeting in Superior, Ariz., to drum up suppport for the mine. And when Gosar held a memorial for firefighters who died battling Arizona's Yarnell Hill wildfire, Kirkpatrick attended, according to the newspaper and website Politico, which dubbed Kirkpatrick and Gosar "the oddest couple in Congress."

Kirkpatrick stands to benefit politically from taking a bipartisan approach in a district that is closely divided between the two parties. Targeting her in the 2014 election, the National Republican Congressional Committee began running ads in the fall of 2013 -- nearly a year out -- that again slammed her for supporting Obamacare. But Kirkpatrick argues that the law's expansion of Medicaid will be popular with the district's poor, rural voters and maintains that any opponent who campaigns for repeal of Obamacare "is really out of step with this district." Carmen Gallus, Kirkpatrick’s chief of staff, told Politico that Kirkpatrick will run as a consensus-builder, saying, "She’s always been about the bipartisan angle."

An analysis of 86 roll call votes by National Journal in 2013 found that Kirkpatrick was among the 10 most nonconformist Democrats in the House; she voted against the majority of her party 15 times.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3361

(202) 225-3462

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 201
Washington, DC 20515-0301

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3361

(202) 225-3462

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 201
Washington, DC 20515-0301

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 213-9977

(928) 213-9981

405 North Beaver Street Suite 6
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 213-9977

(928) 213-9981

405 North Beaver Street Suite 6
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 316-0839

(520) 316-0842

211 North Florence Street Suite One
Casa Grande, AZ 85122

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 316-0839

(520) 316-0842

211 North Florence Street Suite One
Casa Grande, AZ 85122

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 382-2663

(520) 382-2664

11555 West Civic Center Drive Room 104A
Marana, AZ 85653

DISTRICT OFFICE

(520) 382-2663

(520) 382-2664

11555 West Civic Center Drive Room 104A
Marana, AZ 85653

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 425-3231

(928) 402-4363

1400 East Ash
Globe, AZ 85501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 425-3231

(928) 402-4363

1400 East Ash
Globe, AZ 85501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 537-5657

(928) 537-2995

550 North 9th Place
Show Low, AZ 85901

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 537-5657

(928) 537-2995

550 North 9th Place
Show Low, AZ 85901

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 213-9977

PO Box 1952 Highway 191
Chinle, AZ 86503

DISTRICT OFFICE

(928) 213-9977

PO Box 1952 Highway 191
Chinle, AZ 86503

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

432 West Cattle Drive Trail
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

432 West Cattle Drive Trail
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 34421
Phoenix, AZ 85067

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 34421
Phoenix, AZ 85067

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Arts

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Campaign

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Education

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Entertainment

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Family

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Grants

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Health

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Internet

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Land Use

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Medicare

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Military

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

National Security

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Recreation

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Religion

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Science

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Tax

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Technology

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Kenneth Montoya
Legislative Director

Urban Affairs

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Palmer Miller
Veterans' Caseworker

Welfare

Christian Walker
Legislative Assistant

Women

Molly Brown
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Ann Kirkpatrick
Votes: 122,774
Percent: 48.8%
Jonathan Paton
Votes: 113,594
Percent: 45.15%
Kim Allen
Votes: 15,227
Percent: 6.0%
2012 PRIMARY
Ann Kirkpatrick
Votes: 33,831
Percent: 63.74%
Wenona Baldenegro
Votes: 19,247
Percent: 36.26%

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