It's not too difficult to see why former CD8 candidate Jonathan Paton would duck out of the crowded quadruple election process to replace Gabrielle Giffords, instead focusing his attention on the future CD1, which includes Marana, Oro Valley, Saddlebrook, and a bunch of eastern and northern Arizona, even though he still owns a home in that district. While he will likely have competition for the Republican nomination, Paton's already looking ahead to the general election, setting his sights on Ann Kirkpatrick, who lost the district to Paul Gosar in 2010.
His letter announcing his candidacy, below:
I don't need to tell you what a critical time we face as a nation and as a state.
If we thought the last election was important, 2012 will be an even more defining turning point for our country. With unemployment still above eight percent, many of our fellow Arizonans struggling in this economy, a Congress and President that continues to rack up spending, and a government healthcare takeover still looming, who we elect this year to represent us will chart the course for a generation.
Since running for Congress in 2010, my concern for the future of our country — and my determination to do something about it — has only grown stronger. If we want the next generation of Americans to live in a free society, the time to act is now.
For these reasons, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Congress in Arizona's new First Congressional District. And I would be honored to have your support in this challenging but crucial race.
Now, a little about this new district.
Earlier this month, Arizona's redistricting commission voted to split the district in which I ran two years ago into two separate districts — the new AZ-1, currently represented by Paul Gosar, and the new AZ-2, currently represented by Gabby Giffords.
Congressman Gosar has already decided that he will move to Prescott and seek reelection in the new AZ-4, creating an open seat in AZ-1.
This new district includes tens of thousands of Arizonans — including many of you — who honored me with their support in 2010. The district stretches from Pima County in the south all the way to the Utah border in the north. Although majority-Democrat in registration, it is home to salt of the earth Arizona voters who value common sense — and who vote Republican in federal elections.
Washington Democrats are optimistic they can win this seat. They have recruited Ann Kirkpatrick, the liberal Flagstaff Congresswoman whom Gosar beat in 2010, to run again, and they are already filling her campaign coffers. Kirkpatrick's major donor list reads like a Who's Who of Liberal America — Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Weiner, Emily's List, Big Labor, and radical environmentalist groups have all written big checks.
What's clear is that we need someone representing us in Congress who shares our values and will work for Arizona — not for themselves and extremist interests. With our country and our neighbors facing so many challenges, our state has never needed a strong voice more than now.
I would be honored to have your support as we embark on this campaign to protect the Constitution and ensure our freedom.