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State Sen. Kirsten Engel resigns to run for Congress

By: - September 8, 2021 2:59 pm

Campaign photo

Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel is resigning from the legislature to focus on her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Engel submitted her resignation to Senate President Karen Fann on Wednesday morning. She represented District 10, which covers eastern and central Tucson. She was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2016 and served two terms before being elected to the Senate last year. 

“After much consideration, I have decided to step down from the State Senate to fully commit my time, energy, and focus to my campaign to continue to serve the people of Southern Arizona in the U.S. Congress,” Engel said in a press statement. “I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly.”

Under state law, three candidates to replace Engel will be chosen by the district’s precinct committeemen, who are elected, voting members of a political party’s legislative district organization. The Pima County Board of Supervisors will select a new senator from among those three candidates.

Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, D-Tucson, filed campaign paperwork to run in 2022 for the District 10 Senate seat last month. 

Engel is running for the congressional seat currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who was elected to represent the 2nd Congressional District in 2018. However, that district, arguably the most politically competitive in the state, will change before next year’s election. Arizona is in the process of redistricting, a process in which the Independent Redistricting Commission wipes the current map clean and redraws the district lines from scratch.

Democratic state Rep. Daniel Hernandez is also running for the seat. State Rep. Randall Friese was running in the Democratic primary as well, but announced last week that he was withdrawing from the race.

On the Republican side, Juan Ciscomani, an aide to Gov. Doug Ducey, is running for the seat. Kathleen Winn, a member of the Maricopa County Community College District governing board, is considering a run for the seat, as well.

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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”