Rep. Pastor's retirement sets off 'political haboob'
Rep. Ed Pastor
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
After spending the past 23 years in Washington, Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor announced his retirement after his term, which ends in January.
Political analyst Jamie Molera said Pastor's retirement set off a frenzy among Democrats jockeying to fill his shoes in Congress.
"Congressman Pastor, let's face it, has not had a serious challenger since he won that seat over 20 some years ago," Molera said.
Pastor's district covers most of central and south Phoenix and extends into parts of the west Valley, including Glendale and Tolleson.
Molera says it's prime political real estate for the Democratic Party.
"It sets off what I call a political haboob," Molera said. "You're just going to get everyone running for that seat and it's going to be interesting."
Even before Pastor made the announcement official, several high profile Democrats said they will run for the vacant seat. Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, state Rep. Ruben Gallego and state Sen. Steve Gallardo all threw their names in the hat.
"I made it clear to [Pastor] a year ago that I was interested should he decide he wanted to take a break," Gallego said.
Several other Democrats haven't decided whether or not to run for the position, including state Sen. Anna Tovar.
"I think anyone would like to have that spot," Tovar said. "It's something I will consider very heavily."
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is also rumored to be in the running, moving from her Congressional District 9 into Pastor's District 7. Members of her camp said Thursday that Sinema is focused on representing her current district in Congress but did not comment further.
Molera says the picture should become clear within days.
"You're going to see a lot of flurry going on both in fundraising and endorsements," Molera said. "You're going to have those few who want to set themselves apart."
After announcing his retirement, Pastor said he did not have any plans to endorse a candidate for his soon-to-be open seat.
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