U.S. House, District 2: Ann Kirkpatrick vows to fight for health care, DACA

Ann Kirkpatrick is the Democratic candidate to represent Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. She served as representative for the 1st Congressional District from 2009 to 2011, and again from 2013 to 2017. (Photo courtesy of Kirkpatrick for Congress)

Name: Ann Kirkpatrick
Political party: Democrat
Position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, District 2
City of residence: Tucson
Previous office: U.S. representative, 1st Congressional District

What is the greatest issue Arizona residents face? If elected, how would you address this issue?

Kirkpatrick said voters continue to bring up concerns about health care. She said Americans are afraid they will lose their coverage, or they will be unable to afford health care because of rising costs.

“No family should have to make life or death decisions because of money,” Kirkpatrick said in response to email questions. “If elected, I will work to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions and work toward the goal of universal coverage, as well as support allowing individuals to buy into Medicare at any age.”

Kirkpatrick, who served three terms representing Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, voted in support of the Affordable Care Act, and her website states she will continue to “fight reckless Republican efforts to repeal” the Obama administration reforms.

Kirkpatrick, who left the House to run for Senate in 2016, said she moved to Tucson in 2017 to be close to family. She decided to run for the seat when Rep. Martha McSally voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McSally is vacating her 2nd District seat to run for Senate. The district is in southeastern Arizona and includes most of Tucson.

What other issues are important to you and your campaign?

In addition to health care, she would protect Social Security and Medicare and pass legislation that would create a path to citizenship for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama policy meant to protect undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. as children.

On her website, Kirkpatrick said fixing the immigration system in the U.S. is critical to the economic prosperity of Arizona, but families of immigrants should remain intact. She rejects the Trump administration’s agenda on immigration and border issues.

Kirkpatrick also wants to end tax cuts for large corporations. And she hopes to address the student debt crisis, saying students should never be “bogged down in debt years after receiving their degrees.”

What in your past work, political or volunteer experience makes you a better choice to hold this office?

Kirkpatrick cites her extensive congressional experience. Voters elected her to Congress in 2008, 2012 and 2014, for the sprawling 1st Congressional District, which runs from Tucson’s northern suburbs to Flagstaff and the Navajo Reservation.

“As a former congresswoman, I have the skills, experience and relationships to help be a bipartisan bridge builder,” Kirkpatrick said. “Now more than ever, we need leadership that is dedicated to the district voters and not big money and D.C. interest.”

She also cited her voting record, saying it proves that she knows how to “work across the aisle” to accomplish tasks.

Kirkpatrick also has served as a law clerk in the Pima County Attorney’s Office, worked in private law practice and as a prosecutor as the deputy Pima County attorney. Voters elected her to two terms in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and 2006.

She lost to John McCain in her 2016 Senate race.

What is a personal challenge you feel you need to overcome?

Finding enough time to rest on the campaign trail is a challenge.

The 68-year-old grandmother to “three rambunctious toddlers” said that although she loves campaigning, it takes a lot of time away from her family.

Please share a quote or advice that guides you.

She quoted Thomas A. Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

What’s an app on your phone that you could not live without?

Kirkpatrick said she cannot live without the National Public Radio app. She said she starts each morning by listening to the Morning Edition.

Campaign website for Ann Kirkpatrick.

Follow us on Twitter.