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Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick has announced her unlikely bid to challenge veteran Senator John McCain for Arizona's Senate seat.

KJZZ reports:

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will have an uphill battle against longtime incumbent Sen. John McCain when she runs for his Senate seat in 2016.

With more than $3 million already raised, McCain is going for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate. Enter Kirkpatrick, who narrowly won the race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District in 2014.
Kirkpatrick's decision to run for Senate leaves a vacancy in Arizona's first congressional district, a major pickup opportunity for House Republicans.

Meanwhile, she faces an difficult race against Senator John McCain, a popular incumbent and proven winner.

The New York Times underscores this:


Mr. McCain has trounced a string of low-profile Arizona Democrats in his 30-year career … In 2004, he received more than 75 percent of the general election vote and in 2010 nearly 60 percent.

Strong Arizona Democrats like former Governor Bruce Babbitt passed on races against Mr. McCain with good reason — Mr. McCain does well with Democratic voters too. … [Kirkpatrick] or any other politician who challenges him should be ready — Mr. McCain is not the type of person who intends to lose what is most likely his last race.
Get ready for a fight, Ann Kirkpatrick. You're going to face a long, tough race ahead.
NRSC | May 27, 2015 |


With no better options, Democrats nationwide are forced to turn to lackluster retread candidates for their Senate nominees in 2016.

National Journal reports on Democrats' current state of despair:

It's awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016.

Wisconsin's Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania's Joe Sestak, Indiana's Baron Hill, and Ohio's Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later.
National Journal continues:

The reliance on former failures is a direct result of the party having no one else to turn to.

As political analyst Stu Rothenberg put it, they're asking "voters to rehire them for a job from which they were fired." Senate Democrats are relying on these repeat candidates for the exact same reason that Democrats are comfortable with anointing Hillary Clinton for their presidential nomination: There aren't any better alternatives.
Across the country, Democrats' hopes for a comeback rest on the shoulders of retreads like Ted Strickland in Ohio, who faces a primary challenge from young P.G. Sittenfeld, Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, whose repeated stumbles make him a flawed candidate.

The Washington Post agrees with the trends of Democrats running retread candidates, underscoring rumors of Kay Hagan running again for Senate in North Carolina:

Consider: The rumor of the day is that former North Carolina senator Kay Hagan (D) is considering a comeback in 2016. Hagan, you might recall, was unseated by Republican Thom Tillis in one of the closest Senate races last year -- during the election that brought Guinta back to the House and that swept Republicans to power in the Senate.
Will the Democrats' retread candidate strategy pan out?

Or is this cycle's recycling of failed former Democratic politicians indicative of the Democrats' increasingly thinning bench?
NRSC | May 26, 2015 |


"Ann Kirkpatrick has been part of the problem in Washington and Arizonans are paying the price.

She doesn’t believe we should ‘second guess' President Obama which is why she supported ObamaCare, his trillion dollar stimulus that created jobs in China and cuts to Medicare.

There is no question Ann Kirkpatrick has made life worse for Arizona families.”
- NRSC Communications Director Andrea Bozek

ANN KIRKPATRICK’S GREATEST HITS:

Ann Kirkpatrick Votes With Nancy Pelosi 90% Of The Time. (CQ, Accessed 5/25/2015)

Ann Kirkpatrick Famously Said She Won’t “Second-Guess The President.”

Ann Kirkpatrick Said She Was Most Proud Of Her Vote For ObamaCare.

Ann Kirkpatrick Had a “Complete Meltdown” At An Arizona Republic Editorial Board Meeting. “We have seen more complete meltdowns in our board meetings but never one so unexpected.” (Arizona Republic)

Kirkpatrick Actually Voted AGAINST A Measure That Would Prevent Taxpayer-Funded Health Care For Life For Members Of Congress.

Kirkpatrick snuck three campaign aides onto her congressional payroll after losing in 2010, and then doled out more than $100,000 in taxpayer bonuses. nrsc.org/t/j-l-dkiynk-xljecjj-d/">(Arizona Republic)

Kirkpatrick voted to protect taxpayer-funded salaries for government bureaucrats even when they are under investigation for certain serious offenses. (Roll Call #436, 8/1/13)

Kirkpatrick missed 16 votes her first week back in Congress in 2013 and never explained why. (Arizona Republic)
NRSC | May 26, 2015 |


While Congressman Murphy seems intent on avoiding questions from the press in his run for the Democratic nomination, there are still many questions that persist about his troubling record on veteran’s issues.


Murphy has voted against legislation to fund a wide range of programs from VA construction projects to job training and homeless assistance programs. In Florida, the bill funds military construction projects across the state including in Pensacola and Cape Canaveral.

Murphy Voted Against Funding the VA


In April 2015, Murphy Voted Against Funding The Department Of Veterans Affairs, Military Construction, And Military Housing.


“Passage of the bill, as amended, that would provide $171.1 billion in fiscal 2016 for the Veterans Affairs department, military construction and military housing. It would provide $76.6 billion in discretionary spending, including $60.2 billion for veterans health programs. The bill would provide $94.5 billion in mandatory spending for veterans' service-connected compensation, benefits and pensions. The total also includes $7.7 billion for military construction, including $1.4 billion for military family housing. The bill would provide $167.3 billion in advance appropriations for certain VA medical care accounts for fiscal 2017.” (H.R. 2029, CQ Vote #193: Passed 255-163: R 236-4; D 19-159, 4/30/15, Murphy Voted Nay)

The Bill Urged The VA To Bring In More Nursing Home Beds, Ensured The VA Incorporates New Mental Health Treatments, And Funded Military Construction Projects Throughout Florida.

“The bill contains $76.6 billion in discretionary spending, $4.6 billion more than last year, covering military construction projects in Florida including at naval facilities on the First Coast and Pensacola, Air Force posts at Cape Canaveral, Eglin and Hulburt Field, an Army National Guard readiness center in Palm Coast and other projects. The bill also urged the VA to bring in more nursing home beds and embrace new technology to reach rural populations. The bill also ensures the VA starts to incorporate new mental health treatments.” (Kevin Durby, “Florida Reps Split On Party Lines On Military Construction/VA Funding,” Sunshine State News, 5/1/15
NRSC | May 26, 2015 |
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Paid for by NRSC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. www.NRSC.org