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Gould officially enters congressional race

Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona state Sen. Ron Gould officially announced today that he will be running for Congress in Arizona’s new 4th Congressional District.

The announcement sets up a three-way Republican primary in the strongly conservative district, pitting Gould against Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar.

While Gould said he was reluctant to reveal campaign strategy, he said he believes his conservative record as a state senator will be the key to his success, and that his campaign will focus on highlighting his achievements.

Gould has long been known for his hardline conservative stances on taxes, immigration and gun rights.

“I’m the only real conservative in the race,” Gould said.

Although Babeu has become nationally known for his efforts to thwart illegal border crossings and for his impugning of the Obama administration over the U.S. Department of Justice’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation, Gould has previously said the sheriff is a newcomer to these issues and that he has no legislative record to prove his conservative credentials.

“I would argue that Paul Babeu isn’t a real conservative,” Gould said.

And despite the incumbent advantage Gosar has, Gould has criticized him for his support of last year’s federal debt-ceiling increase, as well as for his decision – following the recent congressional redistricting – to switch from his current 1st Congressional District to run in the new, heavily conservative CD4.

“He’s not even moving into the district,” Gould said. “He said he’s going to buy a second home here. I have a second home in Phoenix, but that doesn’t make me a Phoenician.”

Gould said his top priorities would be to reign in government spending, reduce the federal debt and repeal the recent federal health care overhaul.

Gould did not want to reveal how much money he has raised so far, but he said he’s pleased with where the campaign is at now.

“I have a broad base of support in both Mohave County and across Arizona, as well as in Washington D.C.” Gould said.

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