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Updated Nov 18, 2013 - 5:58 pm

GOP targets 3 Arizona Democratic lawmakers for 2014 elections

PHOENIX — National Republicans plan to target three Arizona Democrats in
the 2014 congressional elections over their positions on President Barack
Obama’s health care law.

The strategy outlined Monday by the political director for the National
Republican Congressional Committee isn’t a surprise _ Republicans have been
hammering the trio for months. And Democrats say it’s a repeat of strategies
Republicans have tried in the previous two elections.

Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema are particularly
vulnerable, the NRCC’s Rob Simms said in a call with reporters Monday. They
represent Arizona’s 1st, 2nd, and 9th congressional districts, respectively, and
won seats in the 2012 election that saw Democrats take a majority of the
Arizona’s nine congressional seats.

“We see Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber as exceptionally vulnerable and (they)
give us two of our best opportunities to pick up seats from anywhere in the
county,” Simms said. “And I think the recent turn of events with the
disastrous rollout (of the Affordable Care Act) … just opens the door wide
open for us to come in and win several seats.”

Sinema is vulnerable as well, especially she was an early and vocal supporter
of the 2010 law, Simms said.

Democratic political strategist Rodd McLeod, who worked on Sinema’s and
Barber’s 2012 campaigns, said they have been consistent in their message about
the health care law. They support the law but want aspects changed, he said.

“This has been their strategy three elections in a row,” McLeod said of the
Republicans. “That’s how they were going to beat Ron Barber the first time in
2012, how they were going to beat Ron Barber the second time in 2012, and how
they were going to beat Gabby Giffords in 2010.

“And we won all three,” McLeod said.

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