by Jim Nintzel
After a week of counting votes, House Speaker Andy Tobin has finally prevailed in the Congressional District 1 primary race, with rancher Gary Kiehne conceding the race.
Tobin will face Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who won election to Congress in 2008, lost in 2010 and won again in 2012.
Tobin thanked his supporters, as well as his opponents in the CD1 race.
“I spent the weekend traveling the state, and everywhere I go, I hear from Arizonans of all parties that they are ready for a change," Tobin said in a prepared statement. "It’s also apparent that Ann Kirkpatrick is going to do everything possible to change the subject away from her disastrous record in Congress. But our campaign will demand answers for her record of supporting her party line and siding with Washington, D.C. interests over what’s right for Arizona."
Team Kirkpatrick welcomed Tobin to the general election race.
“Despite being touted as the frontrunner by party leaders in Washington, Tobin failed to connect with the people of Arizona and their concerns, and he had to be bailed out at the last minute with ads from a secretive special interest group full of lobbyists that doesn’t have to disclose where its money comes from,” said D.B. Mitchell, Kirkpatrick for Arizona spokesman. “Ann is a true daughter of rural Arizona with strong support all over the district. We look forward to showing the contrast between her bipartisan record of getting things done and Tobin’s corrupt record of accepting lobbyist gifts and special interest cash while illegally gutting education funding.”
Tobin came out of the primary without much in his campaign account; his most recent filing showed that, as of Aug. 6, he had just $80,000 in the campaign account, while Kirkpatrick had more than $1.3 million. And Kirkpatrick made a big opening bid in the race, announcing last week that she was reserving $1.7 million in TV time between now and Election Day.
But Tobin can count on the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is already up with a TV ad going after Kirkpatrick on her votes to raise the debt ceiling and her support of the Affordable Care Act:
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched an ad highlighting Tobin's votes to slash funding for education in Arizona: