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Kirkpatrick wins CD 2; Marquez Peterson concedes

Democratic candidate Ann Kirkpatrick held an 11-point lead over Republican Lea Marquez Peterson in CD 2, with the GOP candidate conceding the race for the open seat Tuesday night.

A former congresswoman in CD 1, Kirkpatrick pulled 55 percent of the vote.

"I'm going to work with my colleagues," Kirkpatrick told a gathering of Tucson Democrats on Tuesday night. "And, we're in the majority." "The path to taking back Congress runs through District 2, and we did it."

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart and let’s have a great Democratic night," she said.

Marquez Peterson entered a gathering of Republicans at the Tucson Sheraton to a standing ovation, and congratulated Kirkpatrick on a hard-fought battle.

She "ran a good race," said the head of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "She had a lot of support, certainly from around the country, and that's something that is hard to overcome."

The National Republican Congressional Committee had backed away from supporting Marquez Peterson's campaign, despite it being the site of pitched electoral battles in previous races.

Former U.S. Rep. Ron Barber — ousted by McSally with a margin of just 167 votes in 2014 —  said he was "thrilled" by Kirkpatrick's win, and it was a major victory for the district and for her. "Usually people win in this district by a percentage point or so, but Ann won decisively. She's a great fit for the district because she's willing to work across the aisle and she's willing to take risks."

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The results mean a return to the House for Kirkpatrick, a former CD 1 congresswoman who lost the U.S. Senate race to John McCain in 2016.

The CD 2 seat was left open when U.S. Rep. Martha McSally opted to instead run for the U.S. Senate seat left open when Sen. Jeff Flake decided to not seek reelection this year.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Kirkpatrick embraces ex-Rep. Ron Barber.