Dad of Arizona man allegedly killed by immigrant announces Congress run
PHOENIX — The father of a man killed while working at a Valley convenience store, allegedly by an immigrant living in the country illegally, has announced a run for Congress in Arizona.
Republican Steve Ronnebeck will challenge Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, who has held the 3rd District seat since 2013.
“The Democrats of Washington, D.C. don’t care about us,” Ronnebeck said in a Tuesday speech announcing his run. “Raul Grijalva is a prime example of that self-serving attitude.”
Ronnebeck said he supports term limits and criticized Grijalva’s nearly two decades in office. Before his current position, the Democrat was elected to Arizona’s 7th District in 2002.
Ronnebeck said he plans to focus on border security, business growth and quality education during his campaign.
His 21-year-old son Grant was shot and killed in 2015 at the Mesa convenience store where he worked.
Prosecutors have charged 34-year-old Apolimar Altamirano in a case that’s been cited by President Donald Trump as he railed against crimes committed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona introduced a bill named after Grant in 2017 that would end the “catch and release” of immigrants in the country illegally who are arrested for deportable crimes.
Grant’s death also inspired Ronnebeck to launch a think tank in October 2018 to study immigration policy.
Grijalva’s liberal voting record and outspoken criticism of Trump have made him a target for conservatives. He says it’s too early to comment on potential rivals, noting others may run.
The heavily Democratic 3rd District includes parts of Tucson, Yuma and Phoenix’s Southwest Valley.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.