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Heinz still committed to CD2 primary vs. Barber

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CD2 election

Heinz still committed to CD2 primary vs. Barber

  • Heinz, left, spoke to voters at a March campaign gathering downtown.
    Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.comHeinz, left, spoke to voters at a March campaign gathering downtown.

Even as the dust still swirls in the aftermath of the CD8 contest, another election cycle is underway, and state Rep. Matt Heinz said Wednesday he's still in the race for a seat in the new 2nd Congressional District.

The Democrat said he''ll remain in the August primary, running against just-elected Ron Barber. Martha McSally is running on the Republican side, along with political novice Mark Koskiniemi. Jesse Kelly, defeated for the second time in less than two years in the CD8 general election, has yet to announce whether he'll continue to seek the CD2 seat.

Neither state Sen. Frank Antenori nor Dave Sitton filed to run in CD2, after trailing in the CD8 primary.

Heinz, a medical doctor as well as a lawmaker, said in an interview that he brings to the table legislative experience and knowledge of the problems of the health care system.

"I wanted Ron to finish out Gabby's term," Heinz said, explaining why he withdrew from the CD8 race after Barber announced his candidacy. 

"I'm glad he's in—Jesse Kelly would have been a disaster," he said.

"But the voters in CD2 deserve a choice about the future," Heinz said.

"I don't think people are going to consider Ron a real incumbent," he said, explaining his campaign strategy.

"The biggest hurdle in the next 7 weeks before early (primary) ballots go out is communicating with the high-efficacy voters," he said.

"I plan to knock on doors and talk to them," he said.

"Democrats need to decide who'll be the best person to go up against Martha McSally," he said.

"I'm the most effective Democratic legislator currently sitting," Heinz said. "I've had experience negotiating with the Republicans, and standing strong for our core values when necessary."

Heinz said Medicare and Medicaid programs could be made more cost-effective by "managing chronic diseases."

Keeping patients out of emergency rooms through using electronic medical records and at-home monitoring would make those programs more solvent, he said.

Medicare and Medicaid should be able to negotiate prescription drug prices like the Department of Veterans Affairs does, he said.

Most of the current 8th District will be in the new 2nd District, created through the congressional reapportionment process held every decade.

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