Democrat resigns from Arizona Senate to focus on congressional run

Sep 8, 2021, 1:00 PM
Democrat Kirsten Engel resigned from the Arizona Senate on Sept. 8, 2021, to focus on her campaign ...
Democrat Kirsten Engel resigned from the Arizona Senate on Sept. 8, 2021, to focus on her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. (Facebook Photo/Kirsten Engel)
(Facebook Photo/Kirsten Engel)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel of Tucson resigned from the Legislature on Wednesday to focus on her campaign for the U.S. House.

Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District race will be pivotal to the Democratic Party’s efforts to retain the U.S. House majority, “and this is not an endeavor to be taken lightly,” Engel said.

“I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly,” Engel said in a statement.

Incumbent Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick is retiring. The district, which includes parts of Tucson and southeastern Arizona, has been highly competitive in the past, though it’s unknown how the boundaries will change through the ongoing redistricting process.

Engel, an environmental law professor at University of Arizona, is in her first term in the state Senate following two terms in the House. She faces Democratic state Rep. Daniel Hernandez, who is best known as the intern credited with saving former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords when she was shot in the head.

State Rep. Randy Friese, another Tucson-area lawmaker, dropped out of the Democratic primary last week saying he needed to focus on his job as a doctor during the pandemic.

The Legislature is not scheduled to be in session until January. The Democratic precinct committeemen in Legislative District 10 will come up with a list of nominees from which the Pima County Board of Supervisors will pick a new senator. Engel’s replacement must be a Democrat.

Engel’s resignation makes for two Democratic vacancies in the 30-member Senate. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is nearing a decision on a replacement for Sen. Tony Navarrete, who quit after he was charged with sex crimes. He denies the allegations.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Valley Metro Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

Valley Metro riders can now pay fares through mobile app

Just in time for the big game, Valley Metro riders have a new way of paying for fares, the company announced Wednesday.
12 hours ago
Fall Out Boy performs at Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 4, 2017, in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam ...
Kevin Stone

Fall Out Boy returning to Phoenix this summer for 1st time in 6 years

Fall Out Boy is returning to Phoenix for the first time in six years this summer when the pop punkers hit the road to support a new album.
12 hours ago
(NPS Photo/Neal Herbert)...

Grand Canyon National Park opens self-guided river trip lottery

Grand Canyon National Park has begun accepting applications for 2024 self-guided river raft trip permits on the Colorado River.
12 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Donald Babiano)...
Griselda Zetino

Empty seats: COVID pandemic not the only reason for spike in chronic absenteeism in Arizona

The number of Arizona students missing school has skyrocketed over the last few years. The COVID pandemic isn’t the only reason.
12 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Over Easy Restaurant)...

Breakfast restaurant Over Easy plans to open 3 Valley locations this year

Breakfast and brunch restaurant Over Easy announced plans to open three new locations across the Valley this year.
12 hours ago
(Surveillance footage video provided by the Glendale Police Department)...
SuElen Rivera

Glendale police seek public’s help identifying suspect in Circle K robbery

Glendale police are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect involved in a robbery in December, authorities said.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Democrat resigns from Arizona Senate to focus on congressional run