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Rep. Kirkpatrick announces she will not seek re-election in 2022

Ann Kirkpatrick (Source: CSPAN)
Ann Kirkpatrick (Source: CSPAN)
Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 4:30 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona residents will soon get a new House representative as Ann Kirkpatrick announces she will not seek re-election in 2022.

Since 2008, Rep. Kirkpatrick has represented both northeastern Arizona, including vast tribal areas and parts of Tucson and Cochise County on the U.S.-Mexico border.

She even made a bid for the Senate in 2016 but lost to the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in his final election.

Last year, Kirkpatrick publicly acknowledged a drinking problem and went into rehabilitation after she fractured her spine and cracked her ribs in a fall exiting the subway in Washington. However, she says her health and recovery are “not a factor at all” in her decision to leave Congress.

She currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and has been praised for her work for veterans and tribal communities.

Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement on her departure:

“Every two years for the past 18 years, there has been an election in Arizona with my name on the ballot. Serving Arizonans has been my absolute honor and joy, but after much consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2022. I will continue the good fight through this Congress, and when the term is up, I will hand over the baton.

“As Arizona’s appropriator, I have strived to be accessible. Taking a page out of Congresswoman Giffords’ book, we hosted ‘Congress on Your Corner’ events and have driven miles and miles across our southwest desert state. From the Navajo Nation to the southern border, we have met with countless folks learning about what local issues need a voice. I have always promised my constituents, whether you agree with my position or not, I will tell you where I stand, and I will work for all Arizonans.

“My childhood was an excellent foundation for serving Arizona. I was born in McNary on the Apache Reservation. In fact, I learned to speak Apache before English. I grew up in rural Arizona, where my mother was a teacher on the Apache Nation, and my father owned the small general store in the area. Even though my high school counselor told me that ‘women don’t go to college,’ I went anyway and then some, graduating with a law degree from the University of Arizona.

“When they said that certain congressional districts could not be won, I tried anyway and won. In Congress, my office was instrumental in helping pass the Affordable Care Act and the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act. We guaranteed important water rights for Native American tribes in Arizona and helped our veterans in rural areas get better healthcare. My office has championed the bipartisan Local Journalism Sustainability Act to make sure that people have access to factual information.

“Over the years, I have evolved on some issues, which I believe is key to being a good leader. I have sought and continue to seek ways to work across party lines when possible, but I also stand my ground on values that should never be compromised.

“Throughout my time in public service, I have learned that the highs are high, the lows are known, and the magic lives in the people you meet. The local issues in Douglas are certainly different than in Flagstaff, but the requests from communities are similar: ‘remember us when you’re in Washington.’ How could I forget? Arizona is home. And representing my home state has been the highest honor.

“As Arizona continues to grow, I hope our representation does as well. I look forward to seeing new and diverse perspectives emerge to lead Arizona forward.

“Over these years, I’ve been blessed to have family faithfully at my side. Since before Roger and I got married in 2009, he has been my companion and cheerleader, driving me to events, wearing my campaign t-shirts, and encouraging me to pursue my goals. I am forever grateful for him, and for my children and grandchildren, who make the unrelenting fight for a more fair and equitable society, all the more vital.

“Throughout this statement, I have used both ‘we’ and ‘us,’ because this has never been a one-woman show. Alongside me are a team of current and former staffers who have helped fulfill our mission. It gives me immense pride to know that the culture of our team is what it is and always should be: good people that, above all else, prioritize service to others.

For now, our work for Arizona is not finished.”

- Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick

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