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Ann Kirkpatrick Announces 2016 U.S. Senate Bid

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Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has announced she’s running for U.S. Senate in 2016. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, she’s taking aim at the seat held by Republican John McCain for nearly three decades.

Kirkpatrick’s announcement means she will not run for reelection in 2016 to represent Arizona’s First Congressional District. The Democrat was elected to her third House term last year and says as a senator she’ll be able to represent the entire state in Congress.

“I’ve lived my whole life in Arizona and it’s clear that our state’s changing. I think Arizona voters are ready for a choice in the next election and I’ve fought for Arizona and delivered results, and I’m ready to run on that record,” Kirkpatrick says.

Kirkpatrick was born and raised in eastern Arizona on the White Mountain Apache Nation. Seen by many as a moderate Democrat, she has focused on Native American and veteran’s issues, as well as forest health initiatives and the economy.

“I’ve seen Arizona go through too many boom-and-bust cycles, and my vision is a strong, diverse, stable economy. It’s all about jobs and I believe I can make that happen better by being in the U.S. Senate,” Kirkpatrick says.

Last month Republican incumbent John McCain announced he’ll run for reelection, but the five-term Republican Senator will most likely face primary challenges from the conservative wing of his own party. 

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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