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Candidate Wenona Baldenegro Benally
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA - With newly redrawn boundaries in Arizona's Congressional District One favoring more Democratic votes, current Republican US Representative Paul Gosar announced Saturday that he is opting to run for re-election in Republican-dominated Congressional District Four that includes Arizona's rural west.
With Gosar abandoning Congressional District One, candidates running in the district will not face the power of incumbency. Politic experts in Arizona suggest the newly redrawn Congressional District One leans Democratic.
The abandonment by Rep. Gosar may be helpful for Congressional Candidate Wenona Benally Baldenegro, 34, who is vying to be the Democratic Congressional nominee in the district. However, she faces competition for the party's nomination from former US Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, who lost Gosar in the 2010 Congressional race, after serving in Congress for one term.
Congressional District One includes ten American Indian tribes, based in Arizona. 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.
After hearing Congressman Gosar's announcement on Saturday, Benally Baldenegro released the following statement:
"Even though I disagree with Rep. Gosar in many policy issues, I respect his decision to run in the new Congressional District 4. Whether he wins or loses, I look forward to serving in a Congress where our representatives can work together in the spirit of whatâ€™s best for Arizona and for our country."
"As Congresswoman for Congressional District One, I will bring good, sustainable jobs to our district, I will create educational opportunities for our children, and I will absolutely protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I am proud to be the only candidate in Congressional District One who is standing up for Arizonaâ€™s working people, seniors, and middle-class families."
Benally Baldenegro has received the endorsements from Congressman Raul Grijalva, Arizona - 7th District, Congressman Keith Ellison, Minnesota - 5th District, the United Steelworkers of America, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers and the Progressive Democrats of America.
If Benally Baldenegro succeeds in her quest, she will become the first American Indian woman to ever serve in Congress in the history of the United States.
posted January 9, 2011 6:50 am est
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