Ed Pastor to Retire After 23 Years in Congress

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Democratic Congressman Ed Pastor announced today that this will be his last term in Congress.

Pastor will have spent 23 full years in Congress when this term expires. He was first elected via special election in 1991, to replace Mo Udall, who retired for health reasons.

Pastor was the first Hispanic person from Arizona elected to Congress, according to his office. Before that, from 1976 to 1991, Pastor served as a Maricopa County Supervisor.

"I've been in public office for 39 years, and it's been a pleasure to serve the people of Arizona," Pastor says in a statement. "After 23 in Congress, I feel it's time for me to seek out a new endeavor. It's been a great honor, a great experience, and a great joy for me to serve in Congress. I think it's time for me to do something else."

Even after redistricting reshaped Pastor's congressional district twice during his career, he's never faced real significant opposition other than in the 1991 special election. The closest any Republican ever got to Pastor in an election was about 30 percentage points. He won with nearly 82 percent of the vote in 2012, with no Republican challenger.

Pastor currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, as well as three subcommittees.

In his retirement statement, Pastor takes credit for securing funding for the light rail and transit systems, numerous habitat-restoration projects, and securing funding for major infrastructure projects in Phoenix, including the tower at Sky Harbor airport.

State Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, has announced that he'll be in the running for Pastor's seat. Other Dems will be likely to follow.

UPDATE 12:26 p.m.: From House Minority Leader Chad Campbell:

UPDATE February 28: Senator Steve Gallardo and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox say they're entering the race.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.




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12 comments
mrh0202201091
mrh0202201091

I can still remember the first time you got elected.How time flies.Thank you sir.

sfleija
sfleija

No person has worked harder for our towns, cities, and county than Mary Rose Wilcox. She has proven her leadership and dedication to our communities and deserves to be our Congresswoman.

I'm getting out my clip boards and ink pens.  I'll be ready to walk for her.  I'm getting out my poster boards and getting ready to paint: 

"MARY ROSE FOR CONGRESS"

"VIVA MARY ROSE"

"MARY ROSE WILCOX DESERVES OUR SUPPORT"

"MARY ROSE WILCOX MERECE NUESTRO APOYO"

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@sfleija  Wilcox would be a bad choice..  Too much baggage..  But there are sane people that could fill this spot!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@sfleija  

^^  LOL....when pigs fly.

sfleija
sfleija

@Cozz @sfleija That's what Andrew Thomas said.  And that's what Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.  They are seeing all kinds of flying pigs...monitors, dismarment of law license and lives ruined.. Don't you see $250,000,000,, a quarter of a BILLION DOLLARS wasted by the incompetnce of Sheriff Joe,  our tax monies.  Pigs are flying over his head...and yours.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@sfleija

...and you keep drinking the MaryRose koolade.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@sfleija @WhoKnows  But that was in a country district, and not is a much bigger state congressional district.

sfleija
sfleija

@Cozz Where I have been is not important.  What is important is where Mary Rose has been, in the forefront against the stupidity of Sheriff Joe, fighting for her constituents. 

Beyond Sheriff Joe, former Maricopa County Attorney, Andy Thomas and their minions, , the CITIES and TOWNS in her county district know how hard she works for them...and delivers.  In a five member Board of Supervisors, and being the only woman and Democrat, she has stood her ground.  She know how to deliver tax paid county services to our communities.  Compare that to what Democratic districts get from the State of AZ. 

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

I have forgotten more about Arpaio than you will ever know, and know all to well how much money has been flushed down the toilet because of Arpaio.

I was one of the first that started this battle 16 years ago.

Where were you in the last 16 years ?

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