From the Washington Post -
Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) announced Thursday that he will be retiring after his current term, setting off what could be a widespread battle to replace him.
The 11-term lawmaker made the announcement via Facebook: "After 23 years in Congress serving the people of Arizona, I have decided that I will not seek re-election this year. It has been a great honor and experience, but it is time for me to close this chapter of my life and start a new one," he said. "I want to thank everyone who has assisted me and supported me throughout my career. Thank you very much for all of your support."
First, let me be one of the many who thank Congressman Pastor for his decades of service to the people of his district, to Phoenix, and Arizona. His quietly effective style of getting things done will be missed, and will leave some big shoes to fill, for whoever ends up with the job.
Second, the popcorn part of the post.
The district (CD7) is overwhelmingly Democratic. There are nearly 104K registered Ds in the district, compared to ~38K Rs. There are approximately 95K Independents or other party registered voters in the district that encompasses south Phoenix, Guadalupe, and southwestern Maricopa County.
That means that a seat that is considered a safe one for Ds is opening up, a rare occurrence here in Arizona.
In 2012, a competitive seat garnered a three-way D primary (eventually won by Kyrsten Sinema) that was rougher than any D primary in recent memory here.
In 2014, the CD7 primary should make that one look like an energetic game of pattycake.
State Rep. Ruben Gallego
State Sen. Steve Gallardo
Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Others are considering a run, or are being suggested, or are out already (sources are direct or are credible journalists):
Jarret Maupin, considering
Endorsed by Tom Horne (in that district, Horne's endorsement is probably the kiss of death for any candidate).
Greg Stanton, mayor of Phoenix, out
David Schapira, former state legislator and 2012 candidate for Congress, out
State Sen. Robert Meza, out
Israel Torres, former state Registrar of Contractors and 2006 candidate for AZ Secretary of State
State Rep. Chad Campbell, House Democratic leader, considering
Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix City Council member, considering a run at Congress, or the MCBOS vacancy
EJ Montini, columnist for the Arizona Republic, out (never in or considering, but some people wanted him
State Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor, out
Of course, she got the (sort of) endorsement of R political consultant Constantin Querard, which would be nearly as lethal to a candidacy as Horne's (above).
Ken Cheuvront, former state legislator, out
Phil Gordon, former mayor of Phoenix, considering
Republican Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Council member, out, announced in his ever-classy way
State Rep. Catherine Miranda, considering
Others who may run, or at least look at running:
State Sen. Anna Tovar, Senate Democratic leader
Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Council member and the daughter of the Congressman
...OK, there are probably more folks to list, but you get the idea - pretty near every D in the state who has ever had aspirations to a seat in Congress is at least thinking about this one.
From the standpoint of the people who will be involved in the various campaigns, it's going to be a long and hot summer.
From the standpoint of the people who write about this stuff, it's going to be seriously fun.