SPOTLIGHT | AZ-2

A Handful of Clinton-District Republicans Are Leaving

McSally’s Senate announcement opens a vulnerable House seat.

Air Force Academy alum, retired Air Force Col. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is recognized by President Donald Trump during a presentation ceremony of the Commander-in-Chief trophy to the Air Force Academy football team, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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Kyle Trygstad
Jan. 12, 2018, 10:19 a.m.

Rep. Martha McSally’s Senate campaign in Arizona is critical to Republican efforts to hold the majority in that chamber, but hers is now the third vulnerable, GOP-held House seat to open just this week.

Along with Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce, who both revealed earlier this week they won’t seek reelection to their Southern California districts, and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Dave Reichert of Washington, who announced their retirements last year, Democrats are now targeting five open seats that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.

The race for Arizona’s 2nd District appears for now to be headed toward a showdown between former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who held a neighboring district for three terms and must win a late primary first, and Republican Lea Marquez-Peterson, president of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who has hired the same consulting firm as McSally, Axiom Strategies.

Kirkpatrick is an experienced campaigner and just announced raising $400,000 in the fourth quarter. A victory would return the seat to Democratic control for the first time since 2014.

Kyle Trygstad

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