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Tom O’Halleran Defeats Paul Babeu in Arizona’s First Congressional District

Arizona Republic

Efforts by Republicans to flip Arizona’s First Congressional District from blue to red have failed. Democrat Tom O’Halleran has defeated his Republican opponent, Paul Babeu. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

O’Halleran delivered a decisive victory in the race with nearly 52 percent of the vote. About 43 percent of CD1’s voters cast their ballots for Babeu, the sheriff of southern Arizona’s Pinal County. Green Party candidate Ray Parrish received about 6 percent.

O’Halleran is a retired police officer, businessman, and former Republican state legislator from Sedona. He campaigned on economic issues and job creation along with immigration reform, education and veterans’ issues in the largely rural CD1. It’s the state’s largest congressional district and includes most of northern and eastern Arizona and the Navajo Nation.

The CD1 seat was vacated by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick who declined a run for reelection to challenge Republican John McCain for his U.S. Senate seat. McCain won a sixth term from Arizonans by more than 220,000 votes. 

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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