Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick won’t seek reelection: ‘I’m sort of term-limiting myself’

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick/Flickr/Gage Sizemore

By Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic

Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., is expected to announce Friday that she will not seek another term representing the Tucson area, a move that comes as the state’s political boundaries will be redrawn ahead of the 2022 elections.

At 70, Kirkpatrick said her health and recovery from alcohol dependency was “not a factor at all” in her decision.

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“I’ve been in public service for 18 years and I’ve always been a proponent of term limits and … I’m sort of term-limiting myself,” she said.

“It’s time to pass along the torch, the baton, and let somebody else take over. Plus, quite honestly, there’s a personal interest. I have three grandsons. … We would just like to be available to them, spend more time with them.”

Kirkpatrick’s low-key persona and deep roots in Arizona’s White Mountains helped her cast herself as a populist, whose career rose and fell with the state’s shifting partisan currents.

Kirkpatrick represented two very different districts in Arizona: For three terms, she represented northeastern Arizona, including vast tribal areas. Her final two terms have her representing part of Tucson and Cochise County on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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