by Jim Nintzel
State Rep. Matt Heinz announced this morning on his website that he would continue his challenge to Ron Barber in the August Democratic primary for Congressional District 2, despite Barber's big win yesterday.
Judging from what I heard from Democrats gathered at Barber's victory party last night, Heinz will face a lot of pressure from party power brokers and his fellow lawmakers to drop out of the race, but at this point, he's not budging. His statement:
With considerable relief, I congratulate Ron Barber on his victory today. I wish Ron the best as he completes Gabby’s term in Congress over the next few months. Now that the special election has concluded, I want to reaffirm my candidacy for Arizona’s newly drawn 2nd Congressional District.
As a practicing physician and lawmaker, I’m in a unique position to tackle our struggling economy, improve the Affordable Care Act and stabilize Medicare and Social Security. We need to make smart revisions to our laws while continuing to support the most vulnerable in our communities.
In the legislature, I’ve found ways to save important health programs while staying on budget. As Democrats, we are also facing unprecedented attacks against women’s health and choice. I’ve stood up to Jan Brewer and Arizona’s ultraconservatives when it matters. I will continue this strong advocacy in Washington, DC.
While I stand by my convictions, I have also been able to solve problems working with my Republican colleagues. As a physician, I am trained to fix problems, not just talk about them.
I reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking bio-fuel legislation which will bring jobs to Arizona and diversify our energy economy. Low-income women suffering from breast cancer will now be able to receive life-saving treatment thanks to bipartisan legislation I spearheaded.
My promise to Southern Arizona is to have conviction when it counts and to build consensus when needed. Just as I work tirelessly to heal my patients in the hospital, I will focus unwaveringly on common-sense solutions to the most urgent problems we face. The stakes are far too high to allow partisan distractions.
In the coming months, I look forward to discussing policy ideas with Ron Barber and Jesse Kelly – and, most importantly, I welcome open conversation with the residents of the new 2nd Congressional District as they choose the best long-term advocate for their needs.