State Rep. Matt Heinz runs for Giffords’ vacated seat
Heinz says he's a moderate who can best follow Giffords' tradition of consensus-building. Claire Doan reports.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Another candidate eyes the congressional seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords: Arizona Rep. Matt Heinz is the first Democrat to officially announce his candidacy for Arizona’s Congressional District 8.
Heinz, who has been a state legislator for four years, says no one can replace Giffords, but he would be the best person to honor her legacy because he’s a moderate who has a track record of consensus building across party lines.
Heinz says his background as a physician is a unique asset.
“We find the problem and we fix it and that’s what medicine is all about. And that background is what I bring with me to the legislature now and has afforded me to cut through a lot of the partisan bickering to get things done,” Heinz told KGUN9 news.
With the need to fundraise in record time and his current responsibilities as a legislator, Heinz says he will strike a balance by cutting back on his shifts at the Tucson Medical Center.
The State Representative said his priority in Washington will be the economy, education and health care.
9 On Your Side asked Heinz how he will approach his seat in Washington, given that many people are tired of the gridlock and lack of productivity of current members of Congress.
“So am I. I think we are all frustrated by that kind of gridlock and inaction,” Heinz said. “Don’t ignore the problem. Embrace it and solve it. I can show my record of working together with my Republican colleagues and my Democratic colleagues – getting things done for the district.”
Heinz said he will modify his plans and only run for the November General Election if Rob Barber, Giffords’ District Director, decides to run for her seat for the rest of the term.
Giffords has not formally endorsed any candidate yet.
Heinz confirmed that he will run in the special election for what is now CD8, as well as CD2 in the General Election under the new redistricting map.
Republican State Senator Frank Antenori announced his candidacy for CD8 and CD2 last week. Republican Jesse Kelly, who lost to Giffords two years ago, has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission.