Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Arizona Daily Star published its candidate profile piece the other day for the CD 2 congressional candidates, Newly in office, Barber faces 1st Dem challenger:
This time around, [Ron Barber] doesn't have the luxury of running unopposed in the primary. He is being challenged by state Rep. Matt Heinz in the newly drawn Congressional District 2.
The 35-year-old Tucson doctor supported Barber in the June 12 Congressional District 8 special election to complete former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' term, while opting to run for the full term.
"The primary Democratic voters want a discussion," Heinz said. "This is the real deal. We are not just substituting for a few months. This is potentially a person that could be there for a while."
* * *
Barber, 66, says neither he nor Heinz should be thinking beyond the two-year term that lies ahead.
"It would be presumptuous for me to say I'm going to be in here year after year and election after election," Barber said. "I hope that if I do a good job, and decide to run again, the voters will hire me to run again. And if I don't do a good job, they won't."
Heinz says his ability to get bills through while working the past four years in Arizona's Republican-dominated Legislature shows he's ready for the U.S. Congress. Heinz resigned as House minority whip in 2011 to focus on legislation.
"I've been able to be an effective lawmaker in very difficult circumstances," said Heinz, who moved to Tucson in 2003 and is a doctor at Tucson Medical Center. "What the voters of Southern Arizona need is someone who is ready to go and can get results."
His main platform issues are improving jobs and the economy, making the health-care system work for all Americans and properly funding education. Heinz says he brings the same approach he uses as a doctor to the Legislature.
"We treat you, we find the problem, diagnose it and we fix it," Heinz said. "That's the kind of drive that I have brought to the Legislature."
In his second campaign of the year, Barber's pitch to the voters remains largely the same: highlighting his deep roots in the community and knowledge of the district and its people.
[Barber's] main platform issues remain the same: fighting for the middle class, getting veterans assistance, bolstering border security, pushing for more renewable energy, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
* * *
In his short tenure, Barber lists votes on two appropriations bills among his accomplishments. One is expected to create thousands of road and bridge construction jobs nationwide. The other supports military installations such as Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He has also introduced a measure to protect veterans from financial scams.
His first vote in Congress made good on a campaign promise to work across the aisle, voting yes on a Republican-backed measure to allow the Border Patrol to bypass many environmental laws on federally managed lands within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders.
Environmentalists and some Democrats were critical, including Heinz, who called it bad policy.
Barber said he wanted to make a strong statement about his support for border security measures.
Heinz has also criticized Barber's vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in "civil contempt" in relation to an investigation of the "Fast and Furious" gun operation. Barber said calling the measure he voted for "civil contempt" is inaccurate, but rather was to ensure the president's use of executive privilege be reviewed by the courts.
"I voted for transparency to make sure this president, or any president, has to be held to account for invoking executive privilege to make sure it's proper and right," Barber said.
Heinz has likewise taken heat for voting with Republicans. In 2011, he was one of two Democrats to vote for a bill that would have given $5 million to Sheriff Paul Babeu and the Pinal County Sheriff's department for body armor, night vision goggles and other equipment to bolster border security. Critics said it was unnecessary for a county located more than 70 miles north of the border.
Heinz defends voting for the measure, saying it is an example of good bipartisan policy. The bill did not become law.
"There was a very clear, substantiated need for some help," Heinz said. "I will always vote to support law enforcement."
Barber enters the race with the momentum of having just won a difficult election, holds a significant advantage in campaign funds, with $194,500 in his treasury to $42,300 for Heinz, and has the backing of Giffords, an immensely popular figure in the district.
But Heinz believes the new district favors him because it has just a 2-point Republican advantage, compared with the 6-point spread in the old district, and has shed many conservative-leaning voters from Oro Valley, Marana and the northwest side, while adding more liberal-leaning voters from near the University of Arizona.
The candidates will appear together in a forum on Arizona Illustrated, KUAT-TV (PBS) on August 20, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. This is the only scheduled debate.