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Six Candidates Now Vying for Open CD1 Seat


Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and State House Speaker David Gowan have each entered the 2016 race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. It’s the office currently held by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick who’s stepping down to challenge John McCain for his U.S. Senate seat. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.



Babeu says illegal immigration and 2nd Amendment rights will be two of his main issues in the CD1 campaign. In the past, Gowan has run on his support of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law and his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.


Credit AP
Arizona House Speaker David Gowan is among five Republicans competing for the CD1 nomination.

Also seeking the Republican nomination are former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, rancher and businessman Gary Kiehne, and Navajo businessman Shawn Redd.

Former state legislator and Sedona resident Tom O’Halleran is the only Democrat currently in the race.

The mostly rural CD1 is among the largest districts geographically in the U.S. It includes Flagstaff, the White Mountains and multiple Native American tribes, and stretches to the outskirts of Tucson. It’s widely considered a competitive district, and in recent years has gone back and forth between Democrat and Republican control.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as 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 frequent contributor to NPR.
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