Tucson defense contractor David Crowe formally kicked off his campaign against U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva in Tucson on Wednesday.
Crowe, the president and CEO of Tucson Embedded Systems, is challenging the controversial liberal congressman in the Democratic primary for the new 3rd Congressional District. About 60 people attended the campaign launch at Crowe’s business, according to a campaign spokesman.
Crowe, who opened an exploratory committee for Arizona’s U.S. Senate race last year but switched races after former Surgeon General Richard Carmona jumped in, said Grijalva’s call for a boycott against his own state over SB1070, Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law, cost jobs and hurt a district already reeling from high unemployment.
But he told the Arizona Capitol Times that the boycott is just one transgression by a congressman who doesn’t support businesses, agriculture or industries in his district, including defense giant Raytheon, a major employer in the Tucson area.
“It has a lot to do with representing the worker, representing labor, representing small business owners, representing the industries in his district. And I don’t believe he does a very good job of that,” Crowe said. “I can’t say it’s any one thing. Of course, his call for a boycott decimated our tourism industry.”
But Crowe will have some obstacles to overcome if he hopes to win over Democratic voters. He was a registered Republican for 15 years before becoming a Democrat in December 2010 and publicly backed Ruth McClung, the Republican challenger whom Grijalva narrowly defeated in the last election.
Grijalva criticized Crowe for switching races and switching parties, and said his campaign is based on nothing more than opposition to the boycott.
“He’s been a lifelong Republican until he saw the light a year, a year and a half (ago),” Grijalva said. “We’ll find out who he is, other than his ambition to be in Congress or in the Senate.”