We're splitting our ticket this year

The Daily Wildcat editorial board endorses candidates for the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts. The editorial board consists of Jacquelyn Oesterblad, Katelyn Kennon, Ethan McSweeney and Joey Fisher.

Martha McSally

In Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, we have a rematch of the 2012 election between Democratic Congressman Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, which Barber won by a very slim margin.

Voters are fortunate to have two fine candidates to choose from in this race. Barber overcame injuries sustained in the deadly attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life here in 2011 to win election to Congress two years ago. While serving in Congress, Barber has not been afraid to cross the aisle and work with Republicans, something sorely needed during this time of do-nothing partisanship in Washington.

McSally blazed trails for women in the military as one of the first female fighter pilots to serve in the Air Force. We would love to see a strong woman with a history of fighting for women’s rights join the GOP ranks.

She would also make for a strong advocate in Washington for the military bases in our area that are critical to our economy — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca. Barber has worked hard to defend the thousands of local jobs that come with those two bases.

Both candidates lack specifics on their plans to address issues facing Arizona students — namely student debt and the rising cost of tuition.

Barber’s middle-of-the-aisle credentials are worthy of applause, but the fact remains that he is a Democrat in a GOP-dominated House of Representatives, and it will likely remain that way for a while. If elected, McSally would hold more sway to push for what Southern Arizona needs on Capitol Hill.

We worry about her plans regarding border security, but we still recommend voters choose McSally.

— Katelyn Kennon was unable to participate in these endorsements



Raúl Grijalva

In Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, Raúl Grijalva and Gabriela Saucedo Mercer are facing off yet again to decide who will represent Southwestern Arizona in Congress.

When voters had a chance to decide between Mercer and Grijalva in 2012, they flocked to Grijalva by a margin of 21 points. We recommend the same decision this time around.

Both Mercer and Grijalva are on the far fringes of their parties, and we admit that this gives us pause. Mercer, with her opposition to marriage equality and incendiary comments last year about not wanting Middle Eastern immigrants, whether they come here “legally or illegally,” is way off base. Congressman Grijalva, as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has taken extreme stands on everything from war in the Middle East to the Keystone Pipeline. But given the demographic make-up of his district, which includes South Tucson, Nogales and four sovereign Native American nations, we believe that Congressman Grijalva represents the interests of his mostly liberal constituents.

We are especially heartened by his positions on the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, his support for expanding Pell Grants and his attempt to stop the Rosemont Mine by introducing the Southern Arizona Public Land Protection Act. His strong opposition to government spying is also a huge plus.

It is Grijalva’s 12 years of experience, combined with a seriousness about the issues that we don’t see in Mercer’s campaign, that leads us to endorse him.

— Jacquelyn Oesterblad recused herself from this endorsement and Katelyn Kennon was unable to participate in these endorsements



Check Thursday’s paper for governor, secretary of state, attorney general and superintendent endorsements


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