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Politics

Kirkpatrick Pulls Back Bivens Endorsement

February 24, 2012

Endorsements are often over-hyped in races, but when someone pulls one back, it's worth taking notice.

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., is shifting her stance in the Arizona Democratic Senate primary. Kirkpatrick, who had formerly backed Don Bivens in the race, is changing her position to neutral.

"Ann has decided to be neutral in the Senate primary, but she looks forward to seeing an Arizona Democrat win this seat in the general election," Kirkpatrick spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said in a statement on Friday.

The turnabout looks more like a recognition of the strength of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona's candidacy than anything else. Kirkpatrick endorsed Bivens before Carmona entered the race. Carmona has since outraised Bivens and has the backing of national Democrats. He was encouraged by President Obama to run for the Senate.

Kirkpatrick is making a bid to return to Congress, and is running in the 1st District, so she also has to worry about her own standing, relative to the political power structure in the state.

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