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Posted Mar 7, 2014, 5:21 pm
Republican congressional hopeful Jim Brown has wound up his campaign for CD1 before it ever started, and announced his intention to run against Martha McSally and Shelley Kais to be the GOP candidate to challenge U.S. Rep. Ron Barber in CD2.
Brown had thrown his hat into the bid for U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's seat in Congress, representing an enormous that stretches from Oro Valley north past Flagstaff to the border of Utah.
While Brown lives in CD1, he's now running to represent Southern Arizona's second district, he said this week.
While members of Congress are not legally required to live in the district they represent, voters generally prefer it.
Brown says he lived in CD2 for 17 years, before buying a home "just on the edge" of CD1 three years ago.
"District Two is home to me," he said in an interview this week.
Brown offered no explanation as to why he ran for CD1 in the first place, but said he's bowing out due mainly to his affinity for Gary Kiehne, another political newcomer who's seeking the GOP nod.
"In fact, I don't know10 people in CD1, never was comfortable representing there and Gary Kiehne has my support," he said in an email.
The other Republicans in the primary race are state Rep. Adam Kwasman, a Tea Party favorite, and state House Speaker Andy Tobin, a conservative who has gained support from more moderate Republicans — such as car dealer Jim Click, who serves as his finance co-chair.
"It occurred to me that Kiehne is the best candidate; any vote for me is a vote I take from him," Brown said in an interview.
"Kwasman and Tobin are politicians, Kiehne and I are businessmen. If Kiehne wins, I'll be happy," Brown said.
Brown now faces Republicans Martha McSally and Shelley Kais in the Aug. 26 primary.
"I admire her for her service to this country, but I'm more focused on the issues," Brown said of McSally, who first ran in the 2012 special election, losing to Jesse Kelly in the primary, and then losing again to Barber after getting the Republican nod for the fall general election.
Brown has as little trepidation at the prospect of running against Barber as he did attempting to run against Kirkpatrick.
"They're both Democrats, they're both bureaucrats," Brown said.
The CD2 contest is expected to be one of the more hotly contested races in the nation. Barber has so far spent $309,562 and has $939,230 on hand. McSally has spent $213,350 and has $547,975 on hand. Kais has spent $2,802 and maintains a balance of $12,900, according to the most recent reports (through 12/31/13) filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Brown, who only declared for the CD1 race in January, has not yet been required to file a report.
"If I get through McSally, I will toast (Barber). Getting by McSally is my biggest challenge," he also posted.
"I'll have to make up for a lot of lost ground," Brown said when asked how he intends to make up for the disadvantage of switching races this late in the game.
"I'm the only candidate that people don't need to agree with to vote for. They just know I'll work my butt off for them," he said.
Any other Republicans who want to jump into the race have until May 28 to collect 658 valid signatures on nominating petitions.