Originally Published: March 29, 2011 9:55 p.m.
Ann Kirkpatrick, who lost her U.S. House of Representatives seat last November to Paul Gosar, said Tuesday that she will try to reclaim the 1st Congressional District seat in November 2012.
"This district is a moderate district, and I think it deserves a moderate voice," Kirkpatrick told The Daily Courier.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce its support - including financial support - for Kirkpatrick and other Democrats on Thursday, she said.
Both Kirkpatrick, an attorney, and Gosar, a dentist, hail from the Flagstaff area.
Gosar garnered 49.7 percent of the votes in the November 2010 election compared to Kirkpatrick's 43.7 percent. Gosar took Gila, Graham, Navajo, Pinal and Yavapai counties in the huge rural district, while Kirkpatrick won in Apache, Coconino and Greenlee.
Conservatives turned out strong in the 2010 election and Republican-dominated Yavapai County had the strongest voter turnout in the district, providing Gosar with 42 percent of his votes.
Yavapai has twice as many registered voters in the district than any other county. But Democrats have the highest percentage of total CD1 voters at 37 percent, compared to 33 percent Republicans and 29 percent independents.
Kirkpatrick says now that CD1 residents have seen Gosar in action, they are contacting her about their discontent.
"I'm hearing from people - including the Tea Party - who feel he's not in touch with the district," Kirkpatrick said. "And they are just sick of the hyper-partisanship in Congress.
"They wanted change in Washington, but they didn't want changes that are going to hurt the local economy."
For example, Gosar opposes earmarks that would have helped create jobs in the Prescott area, Kirkpatrick said. Northern Arizona University requested $2.6 million for its Yavapai College campus in Prescott Valley, Chino Valley asked for $500,000 for water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and the NASA Educator Resource Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott sought $200,000.
"This Congress has not done one thing to create one job in our district," she said.
At the same time, Gosar supports tax breaks for oil companies, she said.
"I think it's a different set of priorities," she said.
Veterans also tell her they are upset about cuts to their services in the House Republicans' budget that Gosar supported, Kirkpatrick said.
Gosar was unavailable for comment late Tuesday afternoon.
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