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Last week’s surprise announcement that Congressional District 7 Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor would be retiring has set off a scramble of Democratic would-be successors. The district has been a Democratic stronghold for decades with a large Latino population.
Two state legislators and one Maricopa county supervisor, all Latino, have declared their candidacies for the District 7 seat.
Next door is District 9, currently the home of first-term Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. It’s a swing district with a more balanced number of Democrat and Republican voters. Her name has been thrown around on social media in speculation that she would change districts to run in the safer District 7.
On Monday, 15 Latino business and community leaders sent her a letter. Mario Diaz is a Democratic Party consultant and one of those who signed the letter.
"Social media has been buzzing that she may be thinking about transferring, and so as community leaders from the Latino community, we felt compelled to send her a letter, a very cordial letter, essentially saying there are historical implications for the Latino community in District 7 that we want to make her aware of," Diaz said.
"I just want to make that this playing field is fair and that the rules to the game aren’t changed in mid-stream, and Kyrsten Sinema coming over to this district with a million dollars in her purse really changes the rules of the game, Diaz said.
Democrats would also face the possibility of losing District 9 to a Republican candidate if Sinema switched, because there would not be enough time to find a strong replacement.
There has been no word from Sinema’s office about her plans. KJZZ has attempted to contact Sinema’s office but did not get a response.