GOP targets 3 Ariz. Dems after health vote - East Valley Tribune: News

GOP targets 3 Ariz. Dems after health vote

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Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:55 am | Updated: 3:29 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Arizona is shaping up to be a key front in the battle for control of the U.S. House.

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In the aftermath of the vote approving President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Arizona is shaping up to be a key front in the battle for control of the U.S. House.

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All five of Arizona's congressional Democrats supported the overhaul. Republicans are targeting three of them hoping their votes will help the GOP pick up seats in Congress.

The targets are Reps. Gabrielle Giffords, Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell.

"Their vote shows that they stand with Nancy Pelosi and they didn't listen to their constituents," said Sara Sendek, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

Sarah Palin this week listed the trio in a chart of her top 20 targets.

Arizona Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said voters will soon start seeing the benefits of the health care bill and will reward Giffords, Kirkpatrick and Mitchell in November.

All three targets represent GOP-leaning districts that voted for John McCain in the last presidential election.

Giffords' district is in southeastern Arizona, including part of Tucson and Cochise County. She was first elected in 2006 to replace Republican Jim Kolbe, who retired, and she fended off a challenge last year from former state Senate President Tim Bee.

Kirkpatrick is serving her first term representing a sprawling district that includes most of northern and eastern Arizona. She was elected in 2008 to replace Rep. Rick Renzi, who was indicted amid allegations he organized a land swap that benefited him and a former business partner.

Mitchell is serving his second term representing Phoenix, Tempe and the Phoenix neighborhood of Ahwatukee. Along with Giffords, he was elected amid a national wave benefiting Democrats in 2006.

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