A new district is poised to pit Paul Gosar against Tom O’Halleran

Independent Redistricting Commission

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Arizona’s northern congressional district that includes the Navajo Nation and numerous other tribes won’t include Mohave County, leaving it with a solid GOP advantage but not overwhelmingly Republican. And the new district potentially sets up a contest between moderate Democratic Congressman Tom O’Halleran and Republican Paul Gosar, a Republican who has become the darling of white nationalists.

The Democratic and Republican members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission ultimately reached a compromise on the contours of the proposed 2nd Congressional District on Monday, though one that gave the panel’s Democrats more of what they wanted.

Republican Commissioner David Mehl proposed that the CD2 take in staunchly conservative Mohave County. That would have given the district a Republican performance edge of about 15% based on recent election results. Mehl’s Democratic colleague, Shereen Lerner, pushed for a different proposal that would have gone further south to take in Graham and Greenlee counties, as well as a significant portion of Pinal County.

Mehl has expressed concerns that CD2 sprawled too far into southern Arizona, the way its predecessor district currently does. The plan that put Mohave County into the district was “a much more coherent northern district,” he said.

“Frankly, I think that’s just a far better solution for our state, I think it’s a more balanced solution for our state,” Mehl said. 

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