Decision 2012

Jun 13, 2012 7:27 PM

Political landscape changes for the new Congressional District 2

TUCSON - Republicans are preparing for a new round of campaigning in anticipation of the August 28 primary.

Sam Stone, a Republican strategist, and a spokesman for candidate Martha McSally said three Republicans have filed paperwork to run for the seat. Congressional District 8 has been redrawn into Congressional District 2 and will lose Republican strongholds like Marana, Oro Valley and Saddlebrooke.

Republican Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, is running in the primary against Mark Koskiniemi, who works for Pima County. As of Tuesday afternoon, Jesse Kelly was undecided as to his future political plans. His camp issued a statement: "We are spending some time catching up with family and prayerfully reflecting on the future. We expect to have an announcement about our future plans in the next day or two."

Stone said the new redistricting will be a challenge for Republicans. "Look at Ron [Barber] winning a 7 point victory last night. That's a lot of work we have to do. We know it's tough; we're going to have to fight like crazy to get this seat."

According to Stone, Republicans will lose six percent of the voter base in the new district. He said the numbers take Republicans from a six percent advantage to virtually even between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats, however, are looking forward to the future of congressional district two.

"The district changes to our favor - if we can win by this large a margin in a Republican-tilting district, especially by the margin it tilts, I think I'm pretty confident we can win running away in the new district," said Jeff Rodgers, the Pima County Democratic Chairman.

Rodgers said Democrats will have to work just as hard as they enter in to a new political landscape, "and as we saw last night I think that Barber stands a chance of picking up a lot of cross over Republicans votes."

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