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Arizona's 2nd congressional district

Arizona's 2nd congressional district
Arizona's 2nd congressional district since January 3, 2013.
Arizona's 2nd congressional district since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Martha McSally (RTucson)
Area 20,219 mi2
Distribution 89% urban, 11% rural
Population (2000) 641,329
Median income $42,432
Ethnicity 85.5% White, 2.2% Black, 1.7% Asian, 14.2% Hispanic, 2.2% Native American, 0% other
Cook PVI R+3[1]

Arizona's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of Arizona. It contains the southeastern corner of the state, including roughly two-thirds of Tucson.

After the 2012 census, the bulk of the Maricopa County portion of the old 2nd became the 8th District, while the new 2nd District took in most of the territory of the old 8th district.


  • District history 1
  • History and demographics 2
    • Geography 2.1
    • Main industries 2.2
    • Schools 2.3
    • Tourism and recreation 2.4
  • Voting 3
  • List of representatives 4
  • Recent election results 5
    • 2002 5.1
    • 2004 5.2
    • 2006 5.3
    • 2008 5.4
    • 2010 5.5
    • 2012 5.6
    • 2014 5.7
  • Living former Members 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

District history

From 2003 to 2013, the district contained the northwestern corner of the state and most of the western suburbs of Phoenix as well as a small portion of the city itself. It consisted of all of Peoria (within the exception of the portion of that city within Yavapai County) and Surprise, most of Glendale and much of western Phoenix in Maricopa County, all of Mohave County, and the Hopi Nation in Navajo and Coconino counties. Despite the size and diversity of the district (it included nearly all of the northwestern portion of the state), over 90 percent of its population lived in the strongly conservative western suburbs of Phoenix (known as the West Valley), historically a fairly safe Republican area.

The odd shape of the district was indicative of the use of gerrymandering in its construction. The unusual division was not, however, drawn to favor politicians. Owing to historic tensions between the Hopi and the Navajo Native American tribes and since tribal boundary disputes are a federal matter, it was long believed inappropriate to include both tribes' reservations in the same congressional district.[2] However, the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation. In order to comply with current Arizona redistricting laws, some means of connection was required that avoided including large portions of Navajo land, hence the narrow riverine connection.

2004 with 61% of the vote. John McCain won the district in 2008 with 60.75% of the vote while Barack Obama received 38.07%.

During the Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008 Arizona Democratic Primary, the district was won by Hillary Rodham Clinton with 54.52% of the vote while Barack Obama received 35.62% and John Edwards took in 7.43%. In the Arizona Republican Primary, the 2nd District was won by favorite son John McCain with 49.51% while Mitt Romney received 29.51% and Mike Huckabee took in 10.46% of the vote in the district.

In the 2014 midterms, the district was the very last House of Representatives race to be decided, as the official recount began on December 1 due to Republican Martha McSally leading incumbent Democratic congressman Ron Barber by less than 200 votes.

History and demographics

Athabaskan-speaking Native Americans lived in this region long before the arrival of the Europeans who established the Arizona Territory. In the late 19th century, Apache chief Cochise and a band of Chiricahuas built their stronghold on the Dragoon range of mountains. The tribe would often ambush and rob passersby as an attempt to keep interlopers off their land. The presence of the tribe deterred the settlement of the area for far longer than the rest of the Arizona Territory. The district, containing a county now called by his name, developed when its varied and valuable resources were found in the 1870s. The discovery of silver mines in 1878 in the Tombstone district spurred much growth and investment in the area.


The district is covered by mountains and wide valleys. The district is high desert grasslands with elevations from 3500 to 6000 feet. Several mountain ranges run through the district with the highest peak in the Chiricahua Mountains at 9,796 feet. Southeast Arizona is at an ecological crossroads where habitats and species from the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts can all be found. The abrupt rise of mountains from the surrounding grasslands creates unique habitats harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals. The area has a semi-arid climate with moderate winters and hot summers. Precipitation rarely exceeds one inch in any month other than July, August, and September, when high intensity, but short-lived monsoon storms can occur.

Main industries

Primary job fields of the people in the district include agriculture, ranching, livestock, mining, and tourism. The main irrigated crops are tomato and cucumber operations have been completed in the past few years with much success. In Cochise County there is the U.S. Army base Fort Huachuca and numerous military-industrial companies. In suburban and urban areas, Wal-Marts are the most abundant superstores.


Located within the district is Cochise College, a two-year college. The University of Arizona is within a couple miles of the district border, located in central Tucson. Approximately 2.8% of adults 25 and older have completed less than 9th grade; 5.5% have completed between 9th and 12th grade but have not received a diploma; 17.9% are high school graduates; 26.8% have some college but no degree; 7.5% have an associate’s degree; 26.1% have a bachelor’s degree; and 13.5% have a graduate or professional degree.

Tourism and recreation

Tourism is an important industry as the district has numerous natural wonders, national forests, parks, and conservation areas. There are multiple caverns (including the renowned Kartchner Caverns) and canyons available for visitation. Hiking, camping, fishing, and boating can be found throughout the region. There are also Apache historical sites, war memorials, museums, tour trains, and mine tours. Golfing is popular, and there are multiple golf courses across the district.


Election results from presidential races
Year Office Results
2000 President Bush 56 - 41%
2004 President Bush 61 - 38%
2008 President McCain 61 - 38%
2012 President Romney 50 - 48%

List of representatives

Arizona transitioned from electing its members of the House from separate districts with the 1948 elections, after using a general ticket since gaining a second seat in the House with the 1940 Census.

Representative Party Term Congress(es) Electoral history Geography and counties[3][4][5]
Harold Patten Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1955
Retired. All except Maricopa
Stewart Udall Democratic January 3, 1955 –
January 21, 1961
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
Vacant January 21, 1961 –
May 2, 1961
Mo Udall Democratic May 2, 1961 –
January 3, 1963
First elected to finish his brother's term.
Resigned for health reasons.
January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1973
South Arizona, including Tucson:
Cochise, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yuma
January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1983
Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, Maricopa (part), Pinal (part)
January 3, 1983 –
May 4, 1991
Southwest Arizona, including parts of Metro Phoenix and of Tucson:
Maricopa (part), Pima (part), Pinal (part), Santa Cruz (part), Yuma (part)
Vacant May 4, 1991 –
October 3, 1991
Ed Pastor Democratic October 3, 1991 –
January 3, 1993
First elected to finish Udall's term.
Redistricted to the 4th district.
January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 2003
Southwest Arizona, including parts of Metro Phoenix and of Tucson:
Yuma, Maricopa (part), Pima (part), Pinal (part)
Trent Franks Republican January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2013
First elected in 2002.
Redistricted to the 8th district.

Parts of Metro Phoenix, extending to NW Arizona, plus the Hopi Reservation:
Mohave, Coconino (part), La Paz (part), Maricopa (part), Navajo (part)
Ron Barber Democratic January 3, 2013 –
January 3, 2015
113 Redistricted from the 8th district.
Lost re-election.
Southeastern Arizona:
Cochise, Pima (part)
Martha McSally Republican January 3, 2015 –
114 First elected in 2014.

Recent election results


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Trent Franks 100,359 59.92%
Democratic Randy Camacho 61,217 36.55%
Libertarian Edward Carlson 5,919 3.53%
Majority 39,142 23.37%
Total votes 167,502 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Trent Franks* 165,260 59.17%
Democratic Randy Camacho 107,406 38.46%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 6,625 2.37%
Majority 57,854 20.71%
Total votes 279,303 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Trent Franks* 135,150 58.62%
Democratic John Thrasher 89,671 38.89%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 5,734 2.49%
Majority 45,479 19.73%
Total votes 230,560 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Trent Franks* 200,914 59.44%
Democratic John Thrasher 125,611 37.16%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 7,882 2.33%
Green William Crum 3,616 1.07%
Majority 75,303 22.28%
Total votes 338,023 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Trent Franks* 173,173 64.89%
Democratic John Thrasher 82,891 31.06%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 10,820 4.05%
Majority 90,282 33.83%
Total votes 266,884 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ron Barber* 147,338 50.41%
Republican Martha McSally 144,884 49.57%
Write-in Write-ins 57 0.02%
Majority 2,454 0.84%
Total votes 292,279 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Martha McSally 109,704 49.81%
Democratic Ron Barber * 109,583 49.73%
Write-in Write-ins 1,007 0.46%
Majority 121 0.0005%
Total votes 220,254 100.00
Republican gain from Democratic

Living former Members

As of April 2015, there are three former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 2nd congressional district that are currently living.

Representative Term in office Date of birth (and age)
Ed Pastor 1991 - 2003 (1943-06-28) June 28, 1943
Trent Franks 2003 - 2013 (1957-06-19) June 19, 1957
Ron Barber 2013 - 2015 (1945-08-25) August 25, 1945

See also


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Pitzi, Mary Jo, 2011. Navajos seek tribal-dominated district in Arizona. Arizona Republic, Published September 16, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  3. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1982.
  4. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1989.
  5. ^ Congressional Directory: Browse 105th Congress

External links

  • Maps of Congressional Districts first in effect for the 2002 election
  • Tentative Final Congressional Maps for the 2012 election
  • Demographic data from
  • 2004 Election data from
  • 2002 Election data from
  • 2000 Election data from
  • 1998 Election data from
  • full listing of candidates, via Arizona Secretary of State's office

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