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Beginning the Race to Replace Giffords

The race to replace Gabrielle Giffords’ in the Tucson new 2nd Congressional District is now the talk in political circles.  Strategists say whoever runs for the seat will have a long and complicated road ahead of them.  

State law requires four separate elections to fill Representative Giffords' seat. Among the democrats mentioned are State Senator Paula Aboud,  and Steve Farley and Matt Heinz, both State Representatives.   Jeanine L’Ecuyer is a democratic political strategist.  She says candidates will not only have to campaign hard in next ten months, but they will also have to attend to their constituents  in between campaigns.

"What people are really looking for in that district, and frankly in every other congressional district in Arizona, is someone who has a moderate point of view, who can get work done," said L'Ecuyer

For Republicans the names being floated are State Senator Frank Antenori, and Jesse Kelly who ran against Giffords in 2010, along with sportscaster Dave Sitton and former legislator Jonathan Payton.  Republican strategists say the issue may be more about money and who has enough of it to fight their way through four elections.  

Republican party insider Jaime Molera said, "The question is how much money do you think you can raise and if you feel that you can carry momentum on, than certainly  having the ability to win and getting that kind of notoriety and that attention could be a big, big help."

Redistricting will change the make up of the current congressional district.  Both strategists agree that candidates will have to decide if they want to invest the time and resources for multiple campaigns in two separate districts.


Nadine is a Senior Field Correspondent (Phoenix) who focuses on stories throughout the southwest and issues that directly affect Arizona’s Latino community. She is an Emmy-nominated journalist and a Telly Award winner. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and earned a Masters in Education from Northern Arizona University.