Jesse Kelly announced that he is withdrawing from the General Election for the Congressional District 2 seat. Kelly lost decisively to Ron Barber in the Special Election for Congressional District 8 this week.
“I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, and our supporters for their unwavering commitment to the values that make America great,” said Kelly in a statment released yesterday. Looking at the results from Tuesday, we have decided to withdraw from the race for Congress in AZ-02 and to seek other opportunities. I will forever be thankful to our generous supporters and volunteers.”
When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced her retirement in January, Kelly returned to Arizona, from Texas to run for the seat. As a result, he never secured a foothold with Republicans. Kelly won the primary in early balloting and both Senator Frank Antenori and Martha McSally out performed Kelly on Election Day. McSally finished second to Kelly in the CD8 primary.
McSally faces the same uphill battle as Kelly. She only arrived in the country days after hearing of Congresswoman Giffords’ resignation. McSally wrote to supporters, “The Republican voter-registration advantage that we had in CD8 disappears in the new CD2.”
No matter the battle, McSally says God told her to run.
Barber beat Kelly by 7 percentage points. In CD2, which before redistricting was CD8, democrats have decided edge. It is unlikely that McSally could beat Barber. As a result, political pundits and many party members will focus their efforts and more importantly funds, on CD1 and CD 3; two districts that many Republicans believe are winnable.
Barber will face Democrat party favorite, Dr. Matt Heinz, in the General Election Primary. Dr. Heinz, an Arizona legislator, has been a committed advocate for affordable health care and women’s health issues.