by Jim Nintzel
As we reported last week, state Rep. Steve Farley is the next Democrat to get into the Congressional District 2 race in the hope of representing the turf formerly represented by Gabrielle Giffords, who stepped down from Congress last week to focus on her recovery from gunshot wounds suffered on Jan. 8, 2011.
Farley is set to announce his campaign tomorrow at a variety of stops in Tucson, Green Valley and Sierra Vista.
Farley joins state Rep. Matt Heinz and state Sen. Paula Aboud in the Congressional District 2 race, which will be settled in the normal election season later this year.
Democrat Nan Stockholm Walden, who owns the pecan groves near Sahuarita with her husband, Dick Walden, is expected to join the race next week. Walden, who earned a law degree at Stanford, worked in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s and 1990s, including a stint as chief of staff for former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.
Before the CD2 race takes place, voters will decide an election to determine who will finish out the remainder of Giffords' term in Congressional District 8.
A half-dozen candidates are officially in the CD8 race. Nominating petitions for that race were due yesterday.
Barring some kind of successful petition challenge, Four Republicans will battle it out in an April 17 primary election for the chance to face Democrat Ron Barber and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis.
The Republican candidates include Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010; state Sen. Frank Antenori, who previously ran for Congress in 2006 before winning a seat in the Arizona Legislature in 2008; sports broadcaster and marketing businessman Dave Sitton; and former Air Force fighter pilot and squadron commander Martha McSally.
Two other Republican candidates, John Lervold and Mark Koskiniemi, failed to turn in nominating petitions, although Lervold tells The Range that he will try to get into the Congressional District 2 race later this year.
The Republican candidate have a short window of opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters in Congressional District 8, which includes Saddlebrooke, Oro Valley Marana, central Tucson, Green Valley, Sierra Vista and much of rural Arizona in the southeast corner of the state. Early voting in the race begins on March 22.