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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 4th District, located solely within Maricopa County in Arizona's "Valley of the Sun," includes southern and central Phoenix, as well as Guadalupe and part of Glendale. Overall, the 4th, a Democratic stronghold, has the state's highest percentage of both Hispanic and black residents. Much of the recent growth in the Hispanic-majority district has been among the Latino population.
Trying to rebound from the collapse of the real estate economy, local officials may turn toward urban redevelopment of downtown areas hosting mostly vacant commercial and residential buildings -- the city has been sprawling outward for decades. A long-awaited pedestrian- and light-rail-friendly mixed-use development opened in late 2010, and construction at the downtown campus for Arizona State University continues, but community groups worry that there isn't enough support for the struggling retail sector to draw visitors from the wider metropolitan area.
An initial 20-mile segment of the Valley Metro light-rail line that connects Tempe and Mesa to downtown Phoenix opened in late 2008, but further extension of the transit system is uncertain. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport postponed some planned terminal and infrastructure expansion, including a rail link to the Valley Metro line.
Glendale (shared with the 2nd) is a growing white-collar, conservative community. Few agricultural areas remain in the 4th as a decade of development in Phoenix has encroached on the district's southwestern edge.
Arizona's Hispanic voters tend to support Democratic candidates on immigration but break from the party on some social issues, opposing abortion rights and favoring some traditionally Republican "family values"-type legislation.
Manufacturing, retail, education
Phoenix, 610,722; Glendale (pt.), 75,707; Guadalupe (pt.), 5,523
The 4th's portion of Phoenix includes City Hall, the state Capitol, Chase Field, US Airways Center and Mystery Castle.
|2010||general||Ed Pastor (D)||61,524||66.9%|
|Janet Contreras (R)||25,300||27.5%|
|Joe Cobb (LIBERT)||2,718||3%|
|Rebecca DeWitt (GREEN)||2,365||2.6%|
|2008||general||Ed Pastor (D)||89,721||72.1%|
|Don Karg (R)||26,435||21.2%|
|Rebecca DeWitt (GREEN)||4,464||3.6%|
|Joe Cobb (LIBERT)||3,807||3.1%|
|2006||general||Ed Pastor (D)||56,464||72.5%|
|Don Karg (R)||18,627||23.9%|
|Ronald Harders (LIBERT)||2,770||3.6%|
|2004||general||Ed Pastor (D)||77,150||70.1%|
|Don Karg (R)||28,238||25.7%|
|Gary Fallon (LIBERT)||4,639||4.2%|
|2002||general||Ed Pastor (D)||44,517||67.4%|
|Jonathan Barnert (R)||18,381||27.8%|
|Amy Gibbons (LIBERT)||3,167||4.8%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 66%||John McCain: 33%|
|2004||John Kerry: 62%||George W. Bush: 38%|
|2000||Al Gore: 62%||George W. Bush: 34%|