Campaign 2010

Oct 25, 2013

Republican Primary Already Heading Rightward in AZ’s First Congressional District

TO:         Interested Parties

FROM:   DCCC Press

DATE:    October 25, 2013

RE:          Republican Primary Already Heading Rightward in Arizona’s First Congressional District

Since Gary Kiehne, Adam Kwasman, and State House Speaker Andy Tobin have all formally entered the Republican primary in the First Congressional District, Arizonans are already witnessing a race to the right among the three candidates. This race to the fringe is sure to continue, but will ultimately offer nothing for middle class Arizonans who reject partisan political games and dysfunctional leadership.

How The Republican Primary Will Continue To Play Out

All three of the candidates lack a significant base in the district, so their opportunity to distinguish themselves – and their battlespace – will take place on issues and ideological purity. For example, when Andy Tobin admitted that he is a carpetbagger, he increased his need to connect with the Tea Party base – loudly supporting the Tea Party’s government shutdown strategy and using his stance as a fundraising platform.

But his opponents are moving to fill that Tea Party space.

Kwasman has already shown he is happy to do cater to the radical right, as he recently touted the endorsement of a legislator who continues to compare President Obama to Hitler. Not only that, Kwasman has released a primary voter guide that hit Tobin’s record while touting Kwasman’s recognition from Tea Party groups. For his part, Gary Kiehne backed the continuation of the shutdown and has also attacked Andy Tobin’s record, casting the State House Speaker as ineffective.

As the primary election continues to the end of next August, all three candidates are sure to play to their party’s fringe and knock each other down in an effort to secure support among the hardcore voters who turn out in the Republican primary. In doing so, the winning Republican primary candidate will be another committed extremist who would bring more gridlock and dysfunction to Washington.

Nothing for Middle Class Arizonans; Nothing for Native American Tribes; Nothing for Seniors

Whichever Republican candidate ultimately secures Tea Party support will prove to be too out of touch with the majority of independent-minded Arizonans who want their representative to focus on creating jobs, growing the economy, and fighting for local priorities.

Regardless of the Republican nominee, Native American voters will see a Republican candidate who opposed the Medicaid expansion that is so important to tribal communities and who supported the Tea Party shutdown that cut off access to national monuments, threatened veterans’ care and other critical support to the tribes. Regardless of the nominee, seniors will see a Republican candidate who would endanger Arizona’s hospitals and give insurance companies free rein over Arizonans’ healthcare. Regardless of the nominee, independents will see a Republican candidate who is focused on advancing a partisan agenda instead of working together to solve our problems and work to create good jobs.

Whether Gary Kiehne, Adam Kwasman, or Andy Tobin wins the Republican primary, his agenda will be disconnected from the reality that Arizonans see. Compared to Ann Kirkpatrick and her record of bipartisan accomplishment and attention to local communities across Arizona, voters will have a clear choice in 2014.