O’Halleran says redrawn Arizona district won’t deter reelection bid

Dec 25, 2021, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm
As Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Erika Newberg is shown speaking on a televisi...

As Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Erika Newberg is shown speaking on a television screen, the commission meets to make the first changes to basic grid maps for the state's nine congressional and 30 legislative districts, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Phoenix. The five-member panel created by voters to take redistricting out of the hands of lawmakers hopes to adopt its final maps by the end of the year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, Ariz. (AP) — Three-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran says he’ll run for reelection in 2022 despite a newly approved redrawn Arizona congressional district seen as more favorable for a Republican opponent.

The new congressional map approved Wednesday by the state’s independent redistricting commission redraws current boundaries for O’Halleran’s rural district centered on northeastern Arizona.

The redrawn district tilts strongly toward Republicans, and voting patterns in the past nine elections cast serious on O’Halleran’s prospects for reelection.

O’Halleran in a statement issued Thursday said the prospect of a difficult reelection race wouldn’t deter him from running again.

“Even though our district is changing, the heart of rural Arizona remains intact in AZ-02,” said O’Halleran, referring to the new 2nd Congressional District.

A moderate Democrat, O’Halleran was first elected to Congress in 2016 from Arizona’s current 1st Congressional District. O’Halleran previously served in the Arizona House and Senate as a Republican before changing his party affiliation.

O’Halleran’s current district has been one of the state’s most competitive. along with one in southeastern Arizona now held by fellow Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is retiring and not running for reelection.

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O’Halleran says redrawn Arizona district won’t deter reelection bid