State Lawmaker Kirsten Engel Steps Down from Senate Seat To Focus on Congressional Campaign

click to enlarge Rep. Kirsten Engel: "I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly." - COURTESY
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Rep. Kirsten Engel: "I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly."

State Sen. Kirsten Engel, a Democrat who represents midtown and east Tucson, announced today that she was resigning her Legislative District 10 seat in the Arizona Legislature to focus on her congressional campaign.

“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 US Congress. Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District is an open seat that will be key to maintaining our Democratic House majority in 2022, and this is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly."

Engel is seeking to replace the retiring U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who announced earlier this year she would not seek reelection.

Two other Democrats, state Rep. Daniel Hernandez and political rookie Marco Urrea, are also seeking the seat.



Republican Juan Ciscomani recently has announced he would run for the office.

State Rep. Randy Friese said last week that he was dropping out of the congressional race.

While CD2 now includes Tucson, the Catalina Foothills, the Casas Adobes area and Cochise County, the district's boundaries is scheduled to be redrawn by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission before the 2022 election.

Engel's resignation is effective today. LD10 precinct committee members will vote on a slate of three candidates and then the Pima County Board of Supervisors will select her replacement.

LD10 Rep. Stephanie Stahl-Hamilton has already announced her plans to seek Engel's seat in 2022. The other LD10 House member, Rep. Domingo DeGrazia, recently announced he would not seek reelection next year, setting up two open House seats in the district—which will also be redrawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission.


Engel's full statement is below the jump.

Serving the people of Legislative District 10 for the past 5 years has been my absolute honor and privilege. During my time in the State Legislature, I am proud to have served my community and fought for Southern Arizona interests - to fully fund public education; to solve our urgent problems of water shortage, increasingly extreme weather, and devastating wildfires; to reform our criminal justice system; to protect Arizona families from unfair budget proposals; and to help small businesses navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19.

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 US Congress. Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District is an open seat that will be key to maintaining our Democratic House majority in 2022, and this is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. I know how much work it will take to win this district, and I’m ready to take on that challenge whole-heartedly.

In the State Senate, I fought for education, protecting our environment, and building an economy that works for everyone. I look forward to continuing that fight in Congress and advocating for the issues that matter to everyday Southern Arizonans.

Engel’s resignation is effective today and starts the process by which the Legislative District 10 PCs and the Pima County Board of Supervisors will appoint her replacement.