July 29th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
8 years ago

CNN 100: Immigration law, Palin among wild-cards in Arizona 1st

 The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.

The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:

Arizona 1st – Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is seeking a 2nd term
Primary: August 24, 2010
Location: Eastern/central Arizona
Days until Election Day: 96

Though not among the most vulnerable House incumbents this year, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick nonetheless finds herself in the unenviable position of being a freshman Democrat in a Republican district during an election cycle that historically has not been kind to the party controlling Congress.

Kirkpatrick was elected to the House in 2008, one of 33 Democratic freshmen swept into office that year. She had previously served as a prosecutor in various local jurisdictions and logged about two years in the state legislature before resigning in 2007 to campaign for Congress. Once in office, she has regularly bucked her party and the White House on key issues, such as the so-called "cap and trade" energy legislation. According to a CQ analysis, she voted against the White House position 33 percent of the time and against a majority of her fellow House Democrats 26 percent of the time on key votes her first year in office. Only two members of her party voted against the White House position more often. She did, however, vote for both the House and Senate versions of the health care reform bill.

Among the several candidates vying for the Republican nomination are dentist Paul Gosar, former state senate majority leader Rusty Bowers, attorney Bradley Beauchamp, and Sydney Hay, who lost to Kirkpatrick in 2008. Gosar, who has won high-profile endorsements from former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, leads the GOP field in fundraising, with $373,000 raised to date, but trails Hay in cash-on-hand. Hay had $145,000 in the bank at the start of the month, compared to $130,000 for Gosar, $55,000 for Beauchamp, and $14,000 for Bowers.

Kirkpatrick has the Democratic field to herself and sat on top of a $896,000 warchest at the start of the month.

Arizona's 1st district takes up more than half of the state. It covers most of the northeast, as well as eastern and central Arizona. It is home to several Indian reservations, including that of the Navajo Nation. Twenty percent of district residents are Native Americans. Favorite son John McCain in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004 carried the 1st district with 54 percent of the vote. Despite the GOP tilt in presidential races, Kirkpatrick managed to defeat Hay in the 2008 general election with 56 percent, higher than 44 percent Obama won here in 2008 and the 46 percent John Kerry won four years earlier.

Immigration and border security will likely take center stage during the campaign, given the controversy over the state's tough new immigration law and Wednesday's order from a federal judge blocking the law from going into effect. Hispanics make up 18 percent of district residents.

Though the district's demographics and national mood may work against Kirkpatrick, she has been helped thus far by a large and divided GOP primary field. She has also cultivated an overall voting record in the House that a Democrat would need to stay competitive, though the impact of her health care vote remains to be seen. Republicans' success here in November will depend largely on the nominee chosen in August.

Filed under: 2010 • Ann Kirkpatrick • Arizona • CNN 100 • Popular Posts
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Peter Morrow

    Very good reports on these issues. Please find out who is or paid for these College Educations. Myself and all my friends are paying for there own children, I think the TAXPAYERS are paying. Please set me straight.

    July 29, 2010 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    I do not care about what party you belong to! "We the People” got screwed again this time we need to make all of them pay with their jobs.
    Guess what "You Are Fired!"

    This fall vote "No to incumbents"

    Fire All incumbents!
    Congress allowed the American people to lose their jobs, their life's savings and their retirement. And then made the American people pay to bailout the ones who were responsible for the crime.
    All while supporting the special interests, lobbyists, Big business and the wealthy.
    You know what Congress, welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

    July 29, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  3. JP

    Ann's problem is her party is proillegal and the republician party is procitizen.

    July 29, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. southern cousin

    Now that the Obozo Department of Injustice and Collaboration with the Unions has gotten its injunction against the citizens of Arizona in their efforts to try to protect themselves, the ruling which says that the Feds have sole responsibility and authority in this area, should mean that all states should sue the Feds to recover the costs of educating, medicating and housing illegal immigrants and the Congress should make sure that no city or state which usurps Federal law by having sanctuary cities receives no Federal funding. That would be a fair, ethical and honest outcome from this ruling. Unfortunately, we have an incompetent, inept, corrupt, unfair, unethical administration that the unions stole the election for.

    July 29, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    If I were an AZ voter.....no Dem would win any race.

    July 29, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  6. Bob

    Remember when a head of lettuce was 50 cents?

    Today is $1.89 a ""pound"" next year will be $5.00 a ""Pound"", because all Illegal’s will be gone, and white people will take their jobs, (or try to do their jobs) and the results will be catastrophic to farmers, George Bush had the right idea, to give temporary visas to workers, but as common here in the USA if the idea is from the other party is consider a bad idea, regardless of practicality.
    There are illegal’s in Canada, however very few, Canada provide temp visas to migrant workers, good for farmers, good for migrant workers. Good for the country.

    July 29, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. key

    The Arizona politicians are ill informed there is no birth right in North American. If they where smart Arizona would have made all its residents carry a state issued citizens card if you are illegal you obviously want have and can be departed.

    July 29, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Kahuna

    Ann Kirkpatrick is what our district needs. The clowns that want her seat represent everything wrong with American politics, especially Sydney Hay. All she can talk about is Pelosi, Reed, Obama, Liberals, Washington, etc., etc., etc. No ideas of her own. Running on "I'm not them, so elect me".


    July 29, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  9. Gary Gerbis

    This law is about time,some time ago did they not have a amnisty period for illegal immigrants to register & become legal.The LAW IS THE LAW,The one thing that all the news reports talk about is the Mexicans[Spanish] The President should say that this law is for anyone who is in the country illegaly.
    I know someone who went to Costa Rico & she decided to stay,well after 2.5 yrs. of being there she got cought.They took her to jail photos,finger prints,& a copy of her passport were taken.They seized all of her stuff & money,Then they took some of the money bought her a plane ticket one way,Banded her from there,& sent here back to Canada. This is what we sould do here also. Thank You GG

    July 29, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. fernandez, Chicago

    I do not know why this is such a big deal to prove that you are here legally. Prior to becoming a Citizen, I carried my green card at all times. I feel every person in the U.S must show have documentation to show that they are here legally.

    July 29, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. why do you give her press?

    just for the clicks only, that has to be it, because she adds NOTHING to the political discussion, she brings NOTHING to the table in terms of helping lead

    she has a flash in the pan, train wreck quality to her, THAT IS IT

    July 29, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Steve in CT

    I would think the hispanics, legal or not and federal lawmakers would realize they need to do this right. Adjust immigration laws to get these people in legally by registering them, sending them back to Mexico and expedite bringing them back to the US legally. Have them get good tax paying jobs and add to Social Security, saving it for everyone. Make laws to give incentives making retirement more tempting (real tempting) to seniors (no taxes & other stuff), thereby opening jobs for the unemployed. That would be paid for by not needing to pay younger people with familys unemployment benefits, food stamps, entitlements etc.. Then you change the tax laws for the wealthy directly tying earning lower tax rates to reinvesting in jobs for Americans.

    July 29, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |