State Lawmaker Steele Now Exploring CD2 Run

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State Rep. Victoria Steele is exploring congressional run.
  • State Rep. Victoria Steele is exploring congressional run.
We reported earlier today on The Range that we'd been hearing that state lawmaker Victoria Steele was among those considering a challenge to Congresswoman Martha McSally later this year.

The Tucson Democrat announced on Facebook earlier today that she's now exploring a congressional run:

I have been surprised and deeply humbled by the large number of people who have asked me to consider running for Congress. The folks I have met believe their voices have been silenced by dark money that put millions into this last election. They are discouraged and disgusted with what is happening and they are running out of hope. When I look into their eyes and I hear their stories I know one thing – it is time to stand up and fight.

With this exploratory committee for CD2, it provides the opportunity to see if there is enough support for a campaign. I appreciate your continued prayers, good thoughts and sage advice as I fully consider this pathway. 

Other potential Democrats include former state lawmaker Matt Heinz, Steele's House seatmate Randy Friese and Nan Walden, a former D.C. attorney and current Sahuarita pecan farmer/Rosemont mine opponent. State lawmaker Bruce Wheeler told the Weekly yesterday that he was getting out of the race because an eye injury.

Whoever gets into the race had better be ready to dial for dollars: Spending on the 2014 CD2 race in which McSally unseated Democratic incumbent Ron Barber was in the neighborhood of $14 million, with McSally and Barber both raising more than $4 million each.

Here's Steele's full statement:



Dear Friends,

I can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch what is happening to my beautiful Arizona.

Martha McSally is failing us in Congress. It is already clear that she only answers to the extremely rich and powerful special interest groups that brought her to Arizona and put her in office. She does not understand the people of Southern Arizona and continues to vote against us.

In light of the following votes and many others, I am forming an exploratory committee to run for Congress in CD2 in 2016.

She voted to weaken the rules that protect Arizona’s rivers and streams.

The day after the deadly Amtrak accident in Philadelphia, she voted against critical funding that might have prevented such tragedies.

The women of Arizona are fiercely independent and do not want politicians interfering in women’s health care decisions. McSally must be held accountable for her votes against women and families and their rights to make our own healthcare decision.

As a Democrat I am a champion for middle class Americans. Here’s what I believe:

- We must protect Social Security
- Our children deserve love, safety and a world-class education
- Parents should be able to afford to send their kids to college
- College graduates shouldn’t start life out crippled with debt.
- Men and women who work full time should not live in poverty
- Workers should receive equal pay for equal work
- We can create jobs and rebuild our economy without destroying our beautiful state
- Billionaires should not be able to buy an election

I know you believe these things too because you have told me so.

I have been surprised and deeply humbled by the large number of people who have asked me to consider running for Congress. The folks I have met believe their voices have been silenced by dark money that put millions into this last election. They are discouraged and disgusted with what is happening and they are running out of hope. When I look into their eyes and I hear their stories I know one thing – it is time to stand up and fight.

With this exploratory committee for CD2, it provides the opportunity to see if there is enough support for a campaign. I appreciate your continued prayers, good thoughts and sage advice as I fully consider this pathway. 

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