If Sinema runs for Congress in another district, she will face a primary challenge, one candidate promised Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A Democrat running for the seat of retiring Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor said Sunday he would not drop his bid in deference to freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a fellow Democrat who may opt to run for the newly opened seat instead of her own.
Pastor’s 7th District is solidly Democratic, while any Democrat running for Sinema’s neighboring 9th District could face a tough general election fight every cycle until the next round of redistricting. Because of that, speculation about the possibility that Sinema might move to the open district emerged immediately after Pastor’s Feb. 27 retirement announcement.
Democratic state Rep. Ruben Gallego, who announced his candidacy on Twitter
minutes after Pastor made his retirement plans public, said in a Sunday interview with CQ Roll Call that he will run for Pastor’s seat regardless of Sinema’s plans.
“I’m a big supporter of Kyrsten Sinema,” Gallego said. “I got to work for her, work with her. I’ve donated to her campaign the first time around, the second time around, and I hope she stays in District 9 because she is the right moderate, business-oriented voice for that district.”
He added: “But, if she decides to move to District 7, we will have a very spirited race and I will run against her.”