A Democrat running for the seat of retiring Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor said Sunday he would not drop his bid in deference to freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a fellow Democrat who may opt to run for the newly opened seat instead of her own.
Pastor's 7th District is solidly Democratic, while any Democrat running for Sinema's neighboring 9th District could face a tough general election fight every cycle until the next round of redistricting. Because of that, speculation about the possibility that Sinema might move to the open district emerged immediately after Pastor's Feb. 27 retirement announcement.
"I'm a big supporter of Kyrsten Sinema," Gallego said. "I got to work for her, work with her. I've donated to her campaign the first time around, the second time around, and I hope she stays in District 9 because she is the right moderate, business-oriented voice for that district."
He added: "But, if she decides to move to District 7, we will have a very spirited race and I will run against her."
Gallego said that he hopes she stays in the 9th District "because I think we can do a lot of great work together."
"Really, the Democratic Party in Arizona, they need her to stay in that district," he said. "She's really the only one who can win it."
"A lot of the complaints ... is that [Arizona Democrats] wish he would be a lot more vocal in terms of carrying about that progressive message," he said of Pastor.