The 2014 Arizona Election Guide: Congressional Endorsements

This election @iREADray is focusing on sending to Washington a congressional delegation from Arizona who will work to get things done. Because party gridlock is so extreme, and the most recent Congress have passed the fewest bills in history, we have focused on those willing to work across party lines to best represent their respective district. These are those endorsements. 

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District One
DEM: Ann Kirkpatrick<<<<<
REP: Andy Tobin

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick believes seniors, children, and those from lower income families should have access to healthcare. She was joined by Republican Governor Jan Brewer to expand medicaid in Arizona. Andy Tobin voted against the expansion of medicaid and even went as far as to attempt to sue Governor Brewer over the issue. Though his efforts failed, it’s pretty clear that that he doesn’t care for his rural Congressional district, or the people he is hoping to serve. Kirkpatrick demonstrates her desire to work with others, by doing it. Tobin sues people who try to get things done, if it’s outside of his narrow, conservative views.
District Two
DEM: Ron Barber<<<<<
REP: Martha McSally

Congressman Ron Barber has a long history of voting against party lines in order to get things done. Unlike some Democrats in the House, he isn’t the President’s puppet. Take what he did in April. Leading the charge against proposed cuts to the Medicare Advantage program, he took on the President, by stating: “The President is proposing harmful cuts to Medicare Advantage… This is wrong and we cannot let it happen.”  In July, the Congressman again worked against party lines again and joined several of his like-minded Democrats and Republicans to fix the broken veterans’ healthcare system. Meanwhile Martha McSally is being courted by people like Sarah Palin. In fact, McSally was one of the first females endorsed by ShePAC, a new super PAC that Tim Crawford, the treasure of Palin’s political action committee, is heading up. It’s pretty clear staunch Republican values aren’t what the citizens of Arizona’s second Congressional Districts embody, and for that we endorse Barber.
District Three
DEM: Raul Grijalva<<<<<
REP: Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Congressman Raul Grijalva is pretty liberal. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to work with others. While his opponent, the same opponent he faced in 2012, is busy making racial statements (so racial that Republican Jan Brewer ditched her), Grijalva has been making a name for himself as the most easy to work with Congressman in the nation. And it’s a title that is rightfully earned. According to GovTracks, an organization that tracks who sponsors and cosponsors what, Grijalva has cosponsored more bills than any of his colleagues in the house. That exemplifies his willingness to work with others. But Grijalva doesn’t just earn this endorsement because of his co-sponsorships, but also because he works well with the Senate. In fact, GovTracks points out that he works with the Senate better than any of his Arizona colleagues. Grijalva deserves our endorsement, because it’s well earned.  

District Four
REP: Paul Gosar
DEM: Mikel Weisser
Vote of No Confidence<<<<<

An effective member of the United States House of Representatives is one who shows up. Incumbent Paul Gosar missed over 68% of the votes earlier this year. That’s far too many. To top it off, according to GovTracks, Gosar cosponsored 150 bills, which is the second lowest among the Arizona delegation. In fact, according to the site, just 7% of the bills that Gosar cosponsored by someone other than a Republican. He’s part of the problem in Washington. To make matters worse for those in Arizona’s fourth Congressional district is the fact that Mikel Weisser, the guy running against Gosar, doesn’t have a shot in hell of winning. This blog is withholding an endorsement in that district because Gosar is no good, and Weisser doesn’t have the might, money, or political know how he needs to win.

District Five
REP: Matt Salmon
DEM: James Woods<<<<<

Salmon is a good candidate when it comes to putting aside differences. The problem is, him refusing to put aside his party alliance when it comes to his own son, which speaks to his character. And that’s never a good thing. Woods is a brave candidate – which is why we are endorsing him. Check out the in depth endorsement.

District Six
REP: David Schweikert
DEM: W. John Williamson<<<<<

Republican Congressman Schweikert refused to work with Democrats this term. In fact, he was part of the forty or so Republicans who led the the charge to shut down the government. According to GovTracks, Schweikert is one of the most partisan House members in Arizona. He’s cosponsored fewer bills than most of the Arizona congressional delegation, has missed more votes than most House members in the entire nation, is in the fewest leadership positions than most House members in the entire nation, and in addition to that he’s one of the most conservative members in the House. Schweikert doesn’t deserve to spend another second in Washington. Williamson, who has been endorsed by some of Arizona’s most interesting politicians, has a strong background in education (Schweikert wants to gut the Department of Education) and has made it clear he’s willing to work with anyone, regardless of party affiliation.

District Seven
LIB: Joe Cobb
DEM: Ruben Gallego<<<<<

This is probably the most boring Congressional race in Arizona. It’s a Democrat-safe district, and the primary has passed. We endorsed Ruben Gallego in the primary, which you can read here, and we stand by that endorsement. 

District Eight
REP: Trent Franks
Vote of No Confidence<<<<<

We endorsed Congressman Franks in 2012, because we felt that his ideology was most in line with his district. Since then, his district has changed some, and so has Franks. He has become one of the most conservative and most partisan representatives in the House. One thing we liked about Franks in 2012 was that he actually showed up to do his job. That has changed, and now Franks has missed the most votes than almost anyone in the entire House. Sadly, there is no one running against him, and it’s clear that Franks cannot be trusted to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional district. He simply won’t show up to work. We recommend not voting for Franks in this district’s congressional race. 

District Nine
REP: Wendy Rogers
DEM: Kyrsten Sinema<<<<<

During the past two years, freshman Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema has joined the conservative blue dog Democrat caucus, voted against party lines to fix things like the Affordable Care Act, has led the charge to fix the broken VA system, and worked hard to reopen the government after Speaker John Boehner let tea-party crazies shut it down. While Sinema has been working hard for the people of her district, Wendy Rogers has been campaigning, hard, over the past year and a half. Her campaign ads have targeted  the Affordable Care Act (she wants to repeal it), immigration (she wants to secure the borders from “those who will bring us harm”) and taxes (she doesn’t want any). Taking a look at the issues, it’s pretty clear that Wendy Rogers is just a standard Republican. Check out the in depth endorsement.

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