Arizona: Grijalva Backs Long Shot in Race for Renzi’s Seat

Posted April 8, 2008 at 6:37pm

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D) has endorsed attorney Howard Shanker in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the 1st district.

“Howard’s understanding of the issues facing you in the geographically largest and highly diverse Congressional district in Arizona is unsurpassed. I look forward to working with Howard in Congress,” Grijalva said in a statement released by the Shanker campaign.

Although Grijalva is backing Shanker, most of the Democratic establishment in Arizona and Washington, D.C., is behind former state Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. Former television reporter Mary Kim Titla also is running for the 1st district Democratic nomination.

The sprawling and mostly rural Northern Arizona 1st district has a majority of enrolled Democrats, but leans philosophically conservative.

The seat opened up when Rep. Rick Renzi (R) decided to retire. The Republican field to replace Renzi remains fluid, although 2002 candidate Sydney Hay has been in the race for some time.
— David M. Drucker