by Jim Nintzel
Former state lawmaker Amanda Aguirre of Yuma confirmed this week that she's considering a challenge to Congressman Raul Grijalva in next year's Democratic primary. Grijalva, who doesn't much care for fundraising or campaigning, narrowly escaped losing his heavily Democratic district to a GOP newcomer last year after he made the political blunder of calling for a boycott of his own state, so it's hardly surprising that he might face a Democratic challenger.
News of the challenge triggered this shocking revelation in a fundraising letter from Howard Dean:
Raul Grijalva is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Under his leadership, progressives in Congress have never been more unified, on message, or a greater force to reckon with than now.
Raul has made sure that we don't just stay on defense fighting Eric Cantor and John Boehner. It's our job to be on offense and offer alternatives. So when the Republicans offered a disastrous budget plan, the CPC offered "the People's Budget."
When Republicans ran from town hall meetings afraid of being attacked by seniors for trying to end Medicare, Raul traveled around the country supporting the "Good Jobs Now" tour by meeting with out of work Americans face to face and fighting to restore the American Dream.
Now, Arizona Republicans are looking for a power grab. They've redrawn the boundaries of his district to remove Democrats and replace them with conservative voters. At least one conservative Democrat has already announced intentions to run against Raul in a primary. And after a tough fight last election, you can bet Republicans have no intention of sitting this election out.
Holy cow: Republicans have redrawn the boundaries of Grijalva's district to remove Democrats? OK, we know there are many angles to this whole redistricting battle, but it's still shocking to learn that the Independent Redistricting Commission is following the Republican Party's orders and disenfranchising Grijalva. Last time we looked at the draft maps, it looked like Yuma would be split so that conservative voters have been shifted into a Republican district that now captures most of the rural areas of western Arizona. Who knew those folks were Grijalva's secret weapon?