Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
Arizona First Congressional District
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA - The newly reconfigured Arizona Congressional districts may prove to be a winning formula for Wenona Benally Baldenegro, Navajo, who is seeking the Democratic Congressional nomination in Arizonaâ€™s First Congressional District.
Arizona's Congressional District One will now incorporate ten American Indian tribes per the newly drawn Congressional districts map by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
The bi-partisan Commission spent a great deal of this past fall conducting forums to listen to Arizona voters before it made its decision on how to reconfigure the Congressional districts in the state that was released on Tuesday. Its goal was to make the less tilted towards one particular political party. Political analysts have long declared the Congressional districts favored Republican candidates.
"The citizen volunteers on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission had a very difficult job, and they should be commended for creating fair, competitive districts that give rural Arizona voters a larger voice at the state and federal levels of government," Benally Baldenegro commented.
Wenona Benally Baldenegro-Navajo
Benally Baldenegro, 34, is first Navajo woman to ever run for Congress. And if she succeeds in her quest, Baldenegro will become the first American Indian woman to ever serve in Congress in the history of the United States.
She is a formidable candidate with impressive credentials that include a law degree from Harvard Law School and Master of Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Public Policy. She received both degrees in the same year 2006.
"The Democratic-leaning Congressional District One reflects the increasing diversity of rural Arizona. Twenty-one percent of the voting age population in the district is American Indian, while eighteen percent is Latino. Arizona Congressional District One have an opportunity to elect a Congressional representative who reflects the growing diversity of our district and state and who will encourage greater democratic participation from all voters in the district," Benally Baldenegro further stated.
The final proposed redistricting must pass one hurdle. It must meet the approval of the US Department of Justice. Arizona is one of several states that has to submit its redistricting proposal due to complaints of irregular activities in the past.
posted December 24, 2011 6:00 am est
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