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Sanders at UA to push Garcia's gov campaign

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Sanders at UA to push Garcia's gov campaign

  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton at the University of Arizona in October 2016.
    Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.comVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton at the University of Arizona in October 2016.

Two weeks before Election Day, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will return to Tucson to stump for David Garcia, the Democratic candidate for governor, during back-to-back events at two of the state's universities. 

On Tuesday, Sanders will join U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, and others at the University of Arizona for a "Get Out the Vote" event at Jefferson Field, 720 N. Martin Ave., along the east side of the University of Arizona campus near McKale Center.

The event will focus on encouraging voters to "participate in this year’s historic election and to take advantage of the new early voting locations opening on campus," the Garcia campaign said in a statement. 

Later that afternoon, Sanders will travel to Arizona State University to speak with U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego at an event at 5 p.m. Young Democrat groups from both UA and ASU will host the events. 

Doors in Tucson open at 10 a.m., and the event is slated to begin at noon. 

Earlier this month, the campaign announced that Sanders was endorsing Garcia. 

"I am proud to support David Garcia for governor of Arizona. He’s exactly the kind of leader the state of Arizona and our country needs right now," Sanders said. "As a first generation college graduate, who went to school on the G.I. Bill, David knows what it means to have access to an affordable education. The Arizona Constitution says college should be ‘as nearly free as possible’ and David has a plan to make that a reality."

This is the fourth time that Sanders has traveled to Tucson for a political event since 2015. The first two times Sanders was in the midst of his campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination, and the last time, Sanders came to the Ua campus to push for Hillary Clinton's failed run for president. 

The back-to-back events come as as Garcia struggles to mount a successful challenge against Republican incumbent Doug Ducey, who has a 17-point lead over his challenger, according to a poll by Arizona Capitol Times and OH Predictive Insights. About 7 percent of people remain undecided according to the poll. 

A more recent poll produced by Change Research and published by the campaign showed that Ducey's support is under 50 percent, and that the incumbent governor's lead has narrowed to 7.6 percent. 

In 2014, Ducey beat Democrat Fred DuVal by 11.8 points.  

Ducey's substantial lead owes in part to his massive campaign spending. New campaign finance reports show that Ducey's campaign has nearly doubled the spending spending for Garcia, burning through $2.4 million to protect the Republican's seat, reported Howard Fischer via the Arizona Daily Star. 

And, Ducey still has an additional $3.5 million to use, while the Republican Governor's Association has marshaled $8.8 million in attack ads against Garcia, wrote Fischer.

Monday, Garcia's political director, former CD2 congressional candidate Billy Kovacs, attempted to gin up some attention for the Democratic gubernatorial effort by tweeting at pop star Taylor Swift.

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