On the very first edition of Democratic Perspective, former Congresswoman, Ann Kirkpatrick, confirmed her intent to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. This is the same office she held from 2009 until January of this year.
Kirkpatrick was born and raised on an Apache reservation near McNary, Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona College of Law, she served as Coconino County’s first woman deputy county attorney, as city attorney for Sedona, as a member of the Flagstaff Water Commission, and as a teacher of Business Law and Ethics at Coconino Community College.
Prior to her term in Congress, Kirkpatrick was twice elected to the Arizona House of Representatives where she served as the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Education K-12 Committee and Natural Resources Committee. As a member of the legislature, she helped pass voluntary all-day kindergarten and contribution limits to candidates for office. She also worked to crack down on meth dealers and to cut taxes for veterans.
Kirkpatrick was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on a platform of tax cuts for 86 million middle class families, making health care affordable and accessible to all, and encouraged renewable energy projects to end America’s dependence on foreign energy and create jobs for rural Arizona.
Among those endorsing her campaign were former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona Police Association, the Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs, the International Association of Firefighters, county sheriffs, tribal leaders, the Arizona Republic, the White Mountain Independent and the Arizona Daily Sun.
During her time in Washington, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick’s work included positions on the Committee on Homeland Security, the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism, the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment, the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, the Committee on Small Business, the Subcommittee on Finance and Tax, the Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, and the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.
The congresswoman voted in favor of the Affordable Health Care for America Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition, she proposed seven bills and successfully passed five on behalf of veterans, including H.R. 2879, which closes a donut hole for terminally ill veteran service members who want to collect their life insurance, and H.R. 3553, which removes disability payments as consideration of income under means-tested housing assistance. She was featured on Fox News for sponsoring bill H.R. 4720, Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, to reduce the National debt by lowering the salaries of Congressional members.
Unfortunately, Kirkpatrick was defeated in her bid for re-election in 2010 despite her successful record.