by Jim Nintzel
State Sen. Paula Aboud is set to announce plans to run for the new Congressional District 2 this year.
Aboud, who has reached her term limit in the Arizona Senate, tells The Range she will make a formal announcement on Monday, Feb. 13.
Aboud joins Democrat Matt Heinz, a state representative and physician, in seeking the seat.
Congressional District 2, created in the recent redistricting process, covers much of the same territory as Congressional District 8, where Democrat Ron Barber and five Republicans are now running for the chance to complete the term of Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned from Congress last month.
But the new CD2 does not include GOP-heavy districts in SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley and Marana, which means the Republican voter-registration edge in CD8 has essentially been eliminated in the new district.
Barber, the longtime district director for Giffords who announced his plans to run for CD8 on Thursday, Feb. 9, has not closed the door on seeking the CD2 seat later this year, although he'll have to make a decision before nominating petitions are due at the end of May.
Other Democrats believed to be mulling a run for the new CD2 include state Rep. Steve Farley and Nan Stockholm Walden, a lawyer and former Congressional Hill staffer who now owns pecan groves near Sahuarita.
Republicans in the race for the CD8/CD2 include state Sen. Frank Antenori, 2010 CD8 nominee Jesse Kelly, marketing businessman and sports broadcaster Dave Sitton, former Air Force fighter pilot Martha McSally and political newcomer John Lervold.