Laura Pastor drops out race for Arizona congressional seat once held by father

Aug 18, 2023, 12:28 PM

Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor cited health issues while suspending her congressional campa...

Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor cited health issues while suspending her congressional campaign on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. (Pastor for Congress Photo)

(Pastor for Congress Photo)

PHOENIX — Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor withdrew Friday from the 2024 race for the congressional seat once held by her late father, citing health issues.

Pastor’s departure further thinned the field of Democrats seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego in District 3. Gallego is running for Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate seat next year.

“Lately, I have developed some health concerns — not life-threatening, just enough for me to take stock and to prioritize my well-being,” Pastor said in a statement. “With that in mind, I have decided to suspend my campaign for Congress in 2024.

“While the timing my not be right for a congressional run, I know it is always the right time to prioritize my health, therefore prioritizing my family’s health.”

What are Laura Pastor’s plans now?

Pastor, who launched her campaign on May 31, said she intends to continue her work on the Phoenix City Council. She started her third four-year term in April after going unopposed in District 4 in the last election.

Pastor is the second Democrat to drop out of the District 3 race this month because of health concerns. Ylenia Aguilar, a member of the Osborn School District Governing Board, suspended her campaign Aug. 11, citing “unexpected health developments.”

Who is still running for Ruben Gallego’s House seat?

Pastor’s departure leaves Phoenix Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari and former state Sen. Raquel Terán as the best-known candidates in the District 3 race. Héctor Jaramillo, a Glendale Elementary School District Governing Board member, also is running as a Democrat.

On the Republican side, Jeff Zink is trying again after losing to Gallego by over 50 percentage points in last year’s general election.

District 3 is the state’s safest Democratic district, so the primary winner will most likely go on to win the general election. It includes downtown, south and west Phoenix and a part of Glendale.

Ed Pastor, Laura’s father, represented the area in the U.S. House for 11 terms before Gallego was first elected in 2014.

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Laura Pastor drops out race for Arizona congressional seat once held by father