US House of Representatives, District 2

Arizona's Congressional District 2 is a toss-up seat. The 2nd District includes Tucson and much of southern Arizona. Congressional representatives make $174,000 annually and serve two-year terms.To compare different sets of candidates, hit the "change candidates" button immediately below the photos.

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  • Ann Kirkpatrick
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Lea Marquez Peterson
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What makes you the best person for the job?

How would you evaluate President Donald Trump’s priorities and performance so far?

Border security, especially a wall of some sort, and immigration reforms, in particular for those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, have received a lot of attention. Would you require addressing either of these matters as a precondition to working on the other? Explain.

The national debt now tops $20 trillion. Can you give examples of the kinds of specific changes you are advocating to significantly address this issue?

f you are elected to the next Congress, who would you like to represent your party for top leadership in 2019? (Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader) Explain.

Do you think the nation’s health care system should move closer to offering Medicare for all or back to what existed just before the Affordable Care Act? Explain.

Do you think human-caused climate change is a real and significant issue? What, if anything, should be done about it?

Do you think the Mueller investigation is a political witch hunt or a serious examination of election security and the rule of law? Explain.

Has the president properly imposed tariffs to protect U.S. jobs and national security? Explain.

What, if anything, should be done to address school security and gun violence more broadly? Explain.

What are some of the biggest contributing factors to the U.S. economy’s performance over the past year? What would you do to keep or change this?

On balance, do you think NAFTA has helped or hurt Arizona? Explain

Can you identify a significant policy area where you have broken with most in your party? Explain.

How much, if at all, does personal character and reputation matter for seeking public office?

What living politician do you consider your biggest role model? Explain.

Age 68
Family Ann is married to Rodger Curley, they have four children and three grandchildren.
Campaign Phone (909) 222-7370
The priorities Donald Trump laid out during his campaign were empty promises. He promised not to cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security, but he has proposed cutting all three. He promised that under his healthcare plan “everyone will be covered,” but then pushed a bill that would’ve led to more than 20 million people losing their health coverage. If not for the courage of John McCain, Trump would have succeeded. His tax cut vastly increases the deficit, and rewards the people and companies with the most money already. Meanwhile, the economic engine of American greatness, our working- and middle-class families, are expected to sit by and quietly stagnate. If I am elected, I will resist all of these policies.Then there is Trump’s approach to the job, which leaves a great deal to be desired: fawning over dictators, from Kim Jong Un to Vladimir Putin; insulting those who express viewpoints he disagrees with; attacking journalists; setting Americans against one another. It’s all wrong.
Some say that we need to secure the border before we can address immigration. That approach guarantees failure. The problems are intertwined. The bill written by Senators Flake and McCain is the best approach. It passed the Senate by a two-thirds margin in 2013. We spend more money today on border security than at any time in our history. We’ve doubled the number of border agents from 2003 to 2016. It’s time to address immigration. I’m a former prosecutor. I have a long record of working to ensure that law enforcement has the resources to combat cartels and traffickers. We need to provide a path to citizenship to undocumented families who are here and contributing to our society. I also support the DREAM Act. I reject the Trump Administration’s agenda of building a wall, targeting productive working people for deportation, and separating children from their parents.
I take it as a first economic principle that we ought not expand debt while our economy the growing. Now is the time to pay down debt. Under President Obama, the deficit shrunk. Now that Republicans are back in charge, we see our debt growing again.

The irresponsible $1.5 trillion-dollar tax bill that passed this Congress is a reward to Republican donors. At this time of record corporate profits, it is important that everyone share the responsibility to pay down the debt.

Secondly, when we create jobs, we add revenue which cuts the deficit — that’s why we should advance policies to create a strong and diversified economy.

Arizona has learned the hard way that you can’t base an economy on just one or two industries like construction or tourism. Diversifying our economy means growing industries such as wind, solar, and biotech. To do that, we must focus on increasing broadband internet coverage, improving our roads and bridges, and fully supporting public education.
Should Democrats take control of the House, I plan on supporting Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Mr. Boehner and Mr. Ryan rightly feel ashamed when they view Pelosi’s record of accomplishment: In four years under her leadership, the House passed the 9-11 Commission safety recommendations, raised the minimum wage, passed the New G.I. bill, banned Congressional earmarks, re-authorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program, passed the DREAM Act, and passed the Affordable Care Act, which provides health coverage to a half million Arizonans. I am not certain that Pelosi will run for Speaker again, but I am favorably disposed to her record.
My proudest vote in Congress was for the Affordable Care Act. No family should have to make life or death decisions because of money. The Republican attempt to recklessly repeal the ACA with no serious replacement has endangered millions of families. The policy of sabotaging the Act is also irresponsible. Gallup has reported that three million Americans lost health coverage in 2017. This, during a time of economic growth. The ACA has led to a great drop in our rate of uninsured people, allowing hundreds of thousands of Arizonans to get health insurance for the first time. It has ended abuses such as people being denied the coverage they’ve paid for when they most need it. The Act has also decreased uncompensated care at our hospitals. I embrace the goal of universal coverage, and support allowing individuals to buy into Medicare. I also believe we must give CMS the power to negotiate drug prices to reduce the cost of Prescription drugs.
I think human-caused climate change is the biggest security threats our country faces. As the home of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Sonoran Desert and so much beautifully preserved wilderness, Arizona offers its residents a special connection to our environment. It is our duty to protect and preserve these places for our children and for generations to come. Arizona’s natural resources are also key economic engines – particularly in rural areas – and bring much-needed jobs to our state.

I have a record of bringing government agencies, local officials, conservationists and other public and private stakeholders to the table. I believe we must fight global climate change and reduce our carbon footprint before it is too late. I strongly support developing a wide range of alternative energy sources in Arizona to create 21st-century jobs and free America from its dependence on fossil fuels.
As a former prosecutor, I believe that no person or corporation is above the rule of law––not even the President of the United States. Special counsel Robert Muller is a highly respected former director of the FBI and Viet Nam veteran.

Russian interference in the 2016 election is a serious matter. In 2016, the Russians sided with Republicans, but there is no guarantee that future foreign interference would also favor Republicans. We all have a stake in protecting the integrity of our elections. That starts with understanding exactly what happened.

It is deeply troubling that the President’s campaign chair, the chair’s deputy, the National Security Advisor, and several others have been indicted. Mueller and his team should continue their work and let it run to its natural conclusion. The American people deserve to know what the special counsel discovers.
Unfortunately, President Trump has used the issue of tariffs and trade more to score political points than to advance our economy. Global trade is a complex network of systems that have been negotiated over decades. When politicians like President Trump impose tariffs and threaten trade wars, they often just end up hurting the very same workers they claim to be helping.

I support international trade, with the caveat that we must do more to protect and promote fair labor and environmental policies around the globe. This will put American workers on an equal footing with those from other countries, while also ensuring that other markets are open to sell American goods. Trade should be conducted in a way that looks out for the interests of American workers. The Trump Administration's ill-conceived tariff plan will only hurt our national economy.
We have an epidemic of gun violence in our country. Many of the victims are children. The idea that there are young people afraid to go to school should warrant immediate action. Instead, Congress has failed to take meaningful action.

The Second Amendment speaks of 'a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free state.' I don't think any honest American can look at our nation's situation with guns and describe it as 'well-regulated.' There are many policy ideas that Congress should consider immediately, including: improving the NICS database, banning high-powered assault rifles, instituting background checks for all gun sales, extreme risk orders of protection, limiting extended magazines, banning those on the no-fly list from owning guns, to name a few.
Overall, the U.S. economy has been in a state of recovery for several years. The previous administration posted 75 straight months of job growth--a trend that has continued into the Trump Administration. Sadly, wage growth has been stagnant over the past year. This is a result of tax policies that steer the benefits of our country’s economic prosperity to the people at the top of the income scale.

The irresponsible $1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut to the wealthiest Americans that was passed by Congress has widened the deficit, prompting Republicans to call for cuts to Medicare and Social Security. These cuts would have a devastating impact to the seniors who rely on those funds, and they would also slow economic growth.
Like any complex piece of legislation, NAFTA has had mixed results. It has been good for US agriculture and cross-border trade, but has had some negative results in many Midwestern communities that formerly relied on manufacturing.

It is important to note that calls to repeal NAFTA are irresponsible and poorly thought-out. Arizona's economy depends on trade with our neighbor to the South. Southern Arizona in particular relies on this trade to drive the economy. This is why I support a policy of expanding trade with Mexico and Central America, while improving labor and environmental standards.
Arizonans appreciate leaders that works across party lines. After the 2012 election, I partnered with Congressman Paul Gosar on several important pieces of legislation that were important for rural Arizona and helped create thousands of jobs. One was the land swap that helped move forward the Resolution Copper Mine. I have taken a great deal of criticism for it, but still believe it is the right choice for the people in the community.
Personal character is very important. When I talk to voters in Southern Arizona, I hear a lot of dismay and confusion about how and why our country got to a place of such anger and divisiveness. Part of their concern is over policy choices, but much of it is rooted in a desire for comity and mutual respect.

Those elected to public office should know that when we are sworn in, we are responsible for more than just ourselves, we are responsible for representing the people of our district. The job requires behaving in a dignified manner. If I am elected to represent Arizona’s Second Congressional district, I will work hard to make the people proud.
For her intelligence and her resilience, I consider Madeleine Albright a role model. She and her family were refugees, and even after the hardship of moving to America with next to nothing, she studied hard and amassed an impressive education. She broke through several glass ceilings to eventually become one of the world’s most respected leaders, serving as US Ambassador to the United Nations and US Secretary of State.
Age 48
Family Husband: Dan Children: Emma and Luke
Twitter @LeaPeterson
Campaign Phone (520) 329-2044
Having lived in Southern Arizona for over 40 years, I’m passionate about our district. Over the past 9 years I have had the honor of serving as President & CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber and I’ve proven to be an effective voice for Southern Arizona. Over these years I’ve helped grow the chamber from representing roughly 300 businesses to over 1,800 currently. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber is now the largest Chamber of Commerce in Southern Arizona. I believe strongly that we need more people in Washington that come from business backgrounds and less career politicians. I’m looking forward to using my experience as a business and community leader to get things done for the 2nd District. I have the background and experience necessary to build consensus among different groups and get results for the district. I’m not going to Washington to participate in political games, I’m going to Washington to represent my home and work toward improving the lives of everyone in it.
I am pleased with the Trump Administration’s focus on tax and regulatory reform. As someone that represents over a thousand small businesses in Southern Arizona, I can tell you that this will have a positive impact on our small businesses and will go a long way to help facilitate job growth. I do have concerns with the approach toward tariffs and their impact on Southern Arizona’s small businesses.
Border Security is at the forefront for most in southern Arizona, especially for the border communities. I support an “all of the above” approach when it comes to our border. We must protect our citizens and I support building a wall where it makes sense, increased surveillance technology and more border patrol. Meanwhile, we need to get our Border Sheriffs the resources they need to protect their communities and aid our Border Patrol. I also believe we must reform our immigration system and I do support finding a legal solution for our Dreamers that does not include amnesty. One does not have to necessary preclude the other, but we must find the political will to address all of these.

If we are going to tackle this amount of debt we must get serious about getting back to the regular order of business in passing a budget. That should be one of Congress’ primary responsibilities and we must get the budget process back on track if we are to have any hope of solving our debt crisis. I would support legislation that would tie congressional pay to the budget process. Congress doesn’t get paid until they pass a budget.

My focus right now is how to best represent CD2 and how we can improve our local economy and keep our families safe. I’m currently not giving any thought to who is potentially going to be leading any leadership roles in a system that is currently not working well for the American people.
As the CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber, I’ve seen firsthand how the costs of healthcare have skyrocketed for workers and small businesses. Millions of Americans have been impacted by this flawed system that hasn’t worked for our families nor the insurance companies. In Arizona, we’ve lost our options as insurance companies have abandoned Obamacare. I support repealing and replacing Obamacare with a system that works — and that means those with pre-existing conditions need to be able to obtain quality healthcare at a fair price.
I believe in being good stewards of the planet and support finding ways to ensure we seek out more environmentally friendly ways of doing everyday tasks. I think we can find a balance in protecting our planet while not jeopardizing future job growth.

I do not support the firing of Mueller and believe the investigation should be completed. However, we must ensure that this examination is not purely driven for political purposes.
As a believer in free market principles, I support healthy trade between nations and encourage it in my role at the chamber. I am very concerned about the implementation of tariffs and believe they could have a negative consequence on our small businesses. However, we must make sure our trade deals are fair and not one-sided at the expense of American workers.
As a mother of two, the safety of our children is very important to me and I believe it’s our most important duty as a society. Gun violence is a serious problem. We have all seen the tragedies that have happened across the country, not just at Parkland. A common thread through many of these tragedies is a shortcoming in our mental health care system combined with inaction from authorities about potential threats. I believe Governor Ducey’s School Safety plan is a step in the right direction for Arizona to be proactive in ensuring the safety of our students.
Tax and regulatory reform have been a huge boost to our economy, especially our small businesses. I support continuing pro-growth policies that empower job creation and make it easier to do business in our nation.
NAFTA has been a big part of not only Southern Arizona’s economy but contributes over 110,000 jobs in our state. I support NAFTA but believe we need to update it since it was written before the internet existed and industries have shifted.
I support finding a legal solution for Dreamers. I do not support amnesty but would like to see both parties work toward a solution that continues to allow these individuals to work and contribute to our society.
I believe what matters is that candidates have a reputation of doing what’s best for the communities they are seeking to represent.
I consider U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley as a role model. She has done a tremendous job both as Governor of South Carolina and Ambassador to the U.N.