McKenzie Pavacich

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

U.S House, District 2: Ann Kirkpatrick vows to fight for health care

Name: Ann Kirkpatrick
Political party: Democrat
Position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, District 2
City of residence: Tucson
Previous office: Former U.S. House representative

What is the greatest issue Arizona residents face? If elected, how would you address this issue?

Kirkpatrick said voters continue to bring up health care. She said Americans are afraid they will lose their health coverage, or they will be unable to afford health care because of rising costs.

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“No family should have to make life or death decisions because of money,” Kirkpatrick said in an email interview. “If elected, I will work to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, and work toward the goal of universal coverage, as well as support allowing individuals to buy into Medicare at any age.”

Kirkpatrick, who previously represented the district in the U.S. House or Representatives, voted in support of the Affordable Care Act, and her website states she will continue to “fight reckless Republican efforts to repeal” the Obama-era health care reform law.

Kirkpatrick said she moved to Tucson in 2017 to be close to family, and she decided to run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally after McSally voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The district is in southeastern Arizona and includes most of Tucson.

What other issues are important to you and your campaign?

Kirkpatrick said in addition to health care, she would protect Social Security and Medicare and pass legislation that would create a path to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.

On her website, Kirkpatrick said fixing the broken immigration system in the U.S. is critical to the economic prosperity of Arizona, but families of immigrants should remain intact. She rejects the Trump administration’s agenda on immigration and border issues.

Kirkpatrick also wants to end tax cuts for large corporations. And she hopes to address the student loan debt crisis, saying students should never be “bogged down in debt years after receiving their degree.”

What in your past work, political or volunteer experience makes you a better candidate to hold this office?

Kirkpatrick cites her extensive congressional experience. Voters elected her as a U.S. representative in 2008, 2012 and 2014, for the 1st Congressional District, which runs from Tucson’s northern suburbs of Marana and Oro Valley to Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation.

“As a former congresswoman, I have the skills, experience and relationships to help be a bipartisan bridge builder,” Kirkpatrick said in an email. “Now more than ever, we need leadership that is dedicated to the district voters and not big money and D.C. interest.”

Kirkpatrick also cited her voting record, saying it proves that she knows how to “work across the aisle” to accomplish tasks.

Kirkpatrick also has served as a law clerk in the Pima County Attorney’s office, worked in private law practice and as a prosecutor as the deputy Pima County attorney. Voters elected her to two terms in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2004 and 2006.

She also ran for the U.S. Senate and lost against the late Republican Sen. John McCain in 2016.

What is a personal challenge you feel you need to overcome?

In an email, Kirkpatrick wrote that finding enough time to rest on the campaign trail was a challenge.

The 68-year-old grandmother to “three rambunctious toddlers” said that although she loves campaigning, it can take a lot of time away from her family.

Please share a quote or advice that guides you.

She quoted Thomas A. Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

What’s an app on your phone that you could not live without?

Kirkpatrick said in an email she cannot live without the National Public Radio app. She said she starts each morning by listening to the Morning Edition radio show.

Campaign website for Ann Kirkpatrick.

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