Sen. Paula Aboud said she’s staying in the race for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, despite Ron Barber’s announcement that he’ll seek a full term after the special election to replace former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Aboud, D-Tucson, wouldn’t say whether she’ll drop out of the race if Barber wins the special election in the old 8th Congressional District, where he served as Giffords’ district director for nearly six years. But she left open the possibility that she’ll step aside if he’s the incumbent.
Meanwhile, southern Arizona pecan farmer Nan Walden, who was widely expected to jump into the CD2 Democratic primary, announced that she won’t run for the seat.
Aboud, D-Tucson, said Barber’s Monday announcement that he won’t just seek to be a placeholder congressman in the special election in the 8th Congressional District, which covers much of the territory in the new CD2, isn’t dissuading her from continuing her campaign.
“I’m not running against Ron Barber. I’m running to support my constituents, continue the work I’ve done,” Aboud said. “The main thing is to support our constituents and do the work and support the values of southern Arizona. My family’s been around over 100 years. I think I know what southern Arizona is about.”
Aboud said she’s not intimidated by the notion of running against the high-profile Barber, who was wounded in the shooting rampage that led to Giffords’ resignation and has the former congresswoman’s backing. Though she said she will run, she left the door open to withdraw following a Barber win in CD8.
“We support Ron in the special and if he doesn’t win we’ll be there for the general,” she said.
Rep. Matt Heinz, another Democratic hopeful in CD2, also said he would stay in the race after Barber’s announcement. But Rep. Steve Farley withdrew and said he would run instead for the state Senate in Legislative District 9.