Arizona's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMartha McSally 50% 109,704
     Democratic Ron Barber Incumbent 49.9% 109,543
     Write-in Sampson U. Ramirez 0% 56
     Write-in Sydney Dudikoff 0% 48
Total Votes 219,351
Source: Arizona Secretary of State



Arizona's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 26, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Martha McSally Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Ron Barber Democratic Party
Ron Barber.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss Up[2]

Arizona U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Arizona.png

Over six weeks after the general election took place, Martha McSally was finally crowned the victor over incumbent Ron Barber. McSally initially claimed victory in the race following the first count of the votes, but Barber did not concede. A mandatory recount began following the official canvass and certification of votes on December 1. The result of the recount was revealed on December 17.[3][4][5] Following the initial vote count, Barber also filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force two counties to count 133 provisional ballots that were previously rejected. His campaign argued that the ballots were wrongly disqualified. However, his request was denied by a Tucson federal judge.[6][7]

The race for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives featured two candidates who both said they were not afraid to stray from party lines, which was essential in a district that was “roughly one-third Republican, one-third Democratic and one-third independent.”[8]

In a rematch of the 2012 race, Republican Martha McSally challenged incumbent Democrat Ron Barber, who narrowly defeated McSally in 2012 with just 2,454 votes separating the two candidates. The 2012 race was too close to call for over a week after the election took place.[9]

Arizona's 2nd Congressional District was one of Ballotpedia's U.S. House battleground districts in 2014 because the district had nearly even numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans.[10][11] The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) also targeted Barber as a vulnerable incumbent because of his narrow margin of victory over McSally in 2012.[12] In addition, Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney won the district in 2008 and 2012.

Throughout the campaign, Barber, who voted with the Democratic Party 72.4 percent of the time, touted his independent record and his membership in Congress' bipartisan working group.[13] He said, “I have a strong record of bipartisanship in Congress. One of those examples is the vote that we took on the A-10 to keep the A-10 flying. Three hundred members of the House of Representatives voted for that amendment, and I introduced it with a Republican colleague. ...So for me it’s about going to Congress and not being a partisan. I said it when I ran in 2012 and I’ll say it again because that’s what I believe. There is not R or D behind a good piece of legislation.”[14]

McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat and the first to command a fighter squadron in combat in U.S. history, argued that her military experience had prepared her to work with both parties, if elected. She said, "I will tell you I served in the military for 26 years. I put on the uniform every single day, and I will tell you that there’s no partisanship in the military. You just get the job done. You have a heart of service and leadership and integrity and excellence and I’ve got that background, in order to serve our country and our community again." McSally also cited her effort to pass a law to overturn a policy requiring service women to wear muslim garb while off base when serving overseas. She continued, "I have shown that I am going to stand up and speak truth to power. I’m going to do the right thing and I’m going to show moral courage even if it comes at a personal cost. And these are values that we don’t have in Congress now."[14]

Barber and McSally accused each other of not being as moderate and bipartisan as each candidate claimed to be. Barber accused McSally of hiding her tea party allegiance to win the election. He said, "We have been hearing about how many times she misspoke in 2012. On issue after issue, all of a sudden, she has a new way of thinking. I welcome some of the changes, because I think they are in the right direction, but I think it's more of a political game than it is reality."[15]

McSally tied Barber to his vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act and to partisan Democrats like Nancy Pelosi.[15] McSally said, "Our current incumbent has shown that he’s going to buckle to party lines. He says he’s independent, but voting with Nancy Pelosi 80 percent of the time is not independence."[14] In a debate held on October 14, Barber responded to McSally's claim explaining that the only Nancy he takes advice from is his wife, Nancy Barber.[16]

Heading into the election, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, The Rothenberg Political Report, The Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics all rated this race a toss-up.[17][18][19][20]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
May 28, 2014
August 26, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Arizona is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. The primary is considered semi-closed. Unaffiliated voters may choose which party's primary they will vote in, but voters registered with a party can only vote in that party's primary.[21][22][23]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by July 28, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014.[24]

See also: Arizona elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Ron Barber (D), who was first elected in a special election on June 12, 2012.

The 2nd District is located in the southeastern corner of Arizona and includes Cochise County and part of Pima County.[25]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Ron Barber
Republican Party Martha McSally Green check mark transparent.png

August 26, 2014, primary results
Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

General election

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMartha McSally 50% 109,704
     Democratic Ron Barber Incumbent 49.9% 109,543
     Write-in Sampson U. Ramirez 0% 56
     Write-in Sydney Dudikoff 0% 48
Total Votes 219,351
Source: Arizona Secretary of State

Primary election

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMartha McSally 69.4% 45,492
Chuck Wooten 22.9% 14,995
Shelley Kais 7.8% 5,103
Total Votes 65,590
Source: Arizona Secretary of State

Race background

Vulnerable incumbent

Incumbent Ron Barber was one of seven early targets listed by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in the 2014 congressional elections.[12] The seven targets aligned perfectly with the seven most Republican districts currently held by Democrats, according to FairVote's partisanship index. Barber's district ranked as the 7th most Republican.[26]

Barber was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program was designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents during the 2014 election cycle.[27]


Barber and McSally participated in their first debate on October 7, 2014. Gun control was a hot issue during the debate. McSally brought up the controversial ad "Stalker Gap." released by Americans for Responsible Solutions claiming that she "opposed making it harder for stalkers to get a gun," despite being a victim of stalking herself. McSally said in regard to the ad, "We can all agree that we want to minimize and we want to make sure that gun violence obviously is addressed in our communities and we have different ways of talking about that. But the way that this has happened in this campaign has just been disgraceful. There were ads that were run by your allies that were considered vile and nasty by the Arizona Republic. And we repeatedly asked for you to stand up against them. And Mr. Barber, you wouldn't do it -- day after day, you wouldn't do it. They finally took the ad down because it was so horrendous. And you have an opportunity now tonight to denounce that ad and apologize. Do you believe that ad was wrong, Ron?"[28]

Barber responded by saying, "I really want to be really clear with this question, because it's important to me as a survivor of a mass shooting, as someone who believes in the Second Amendment and supports it. And what happened to you, Martha -- what you said happened to you was horrific. It should happen to no woman. I've got two daughters, I've got three granddaughters. I want to make sure that they're protected. I want to make sure that you're protected and every woman is protected. That ad was not run by me, and I'm not going to talk about an ad that I didn't sponsor." He also added that he wanted to expand background checks on gun purchases.[28]

Barber and McSally participated in their second debate on October 14, 2014. The candidates discussed a variety of issues, including Ft. Huachuca and immigration.

When asked about saving jobs at Ft. Huachuca, McSally said, "The fight in D.C. has to be one that's based on credibility, that understands those missions, that understands what those missions bring to our national security."[16]

Barber agreed with McSally saying, "It is the most important economic driver in all of Cochise County. We cannot let that go away, we must work together to save it. This should never be a partisan issue."[16]

McSally argued that Congress and Barber have failed on immigration. She said, "The border is not secure and it is not getting any better so its time not for talk but for action. The strategy is failed."[16]

"I've been working on border security, getting changes made right here in Southern Arizona. My opponent just refuses to recognize that we've made some progress. We need to make more," Barber replied.[16]

"Both candidates say they support moving more Border Patrol agents closer to the actual border," according to

Gabby Giffords

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords was a prominent figure in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District race. Giffords and her group, American for Responsible Solutions, unsurprisingly supported Barber. Barber is Giffords’ former district director.

In September, Giffords and American for Responsible Solutions released the ad "Stalker Gap." McSally responded to the ad saying, “For an outside group to tie me to the tragic occurrence of a stalker killing his victim is not only personally offensive, it’s degrading to all women and victims who have experienced this pain. These false and malicious ads are being run by Congressman Barber’s political allies, and for him to remain silent in their wake is damning…He needs to denounce these degrading ads and demand they be pulled down.”[29]

The Arizona Republic called "Stalker Gap" "a nasty piece of work. Demagoguery in heart-rending tones."[30]

Giffords once again became a feature of the race in the NRCC's ad "Follower," the narrator said, “Gabby Giffords fought for border security and voted against Nancy Pelosi. Ron Barber voted for Pelosi and followed Pelosi’s lead, voting against strengthening our border.”

In response Giffords said, “No organization or person — no matter which party they say they represent — should think they can come to Southern Arizona and pretend to speak for me. I work hard to speak, but it’s my voice. So take it from me: Ron is an independent leader in Congress, and no one will fight harder for our community.”[29]

Giffords' group Americans for Responsible Solutions then released the ad, “Fight For Us.” In the ad Giffords said, “We expect our leaders to fight for us, not the special interests. Ron Barber is independent, he’s courageous, and most of all he’s Arizona through and through.”


According to The Hill, "Three House races all have had more than 4,000 ads since the start of the cycle: Georgia's 12th district (Democratic Rep. John Barrow v. Republican Rick Allen), Florida's 2nd district (Republican Rep. Steve Southerland v. Democrat Gwen Graham), and Arizona's 2nd district (Democratic Rep. Ron Barber v. Republican Martha McSally)."[31]


On March 29, 2014, Speaker John Boehner headlined a fundraiser for Martha McSally and Andy Tobin (AZ-01).[32]


LIBRE Initiative ad attacking Ron Barber for voting for Obamacare

On September 15, 2014, Americans for Responsible Solutions released the following ad accusing Martha McSally of opposing making it more difficult for stalkers to get guns. In response to the ad Mcsally's campaign responded, "Martha supports the full enforcement of federal laws that are in place to keep guns out of the hands of prohibited persons, including convicted felons (including stalkers), domestic abusers, the mentally ill, and people in the country illegally. On the issue of stalking, as a victim of stalking herself, Martha firmly believes convicted stalkers should be prohibited from obtaining firearms in all cases, and claims to the contrary are 100 percent false." After McSally's statement, ARS said that it would take down the ad.[33]

Americans for Responsible Solutions - "Stalker Gap"

Martha McSally

Campaign ad praising McSally for helping others in times of need

Martha McSally - "Time"


Ron Barber vs Martha McSally
Poll Ron Barber Martha McSallyUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Red Racing Horses (October 21-23, 2014)
Normington Petts (June 8-10, 2014)
AVERAGES 46.5% 41.5% 11.5% +/-4.45 477
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

According to the NRCC, a poll released on July 11, 2013, showed Barber leading McSally 46% to 45%.[34]


See also: Energy and the 2014 election: the ballots and beyond

Campaign themes

Ron Barber

Barber's campaign website listed the following issues:[35]

  • Standing Up For The Middle Class – Jobs And The Economy: "I have worked my whole life in Southern Arizona. My wife and I ran a small business for 22 years, and now our children are raising their families here as well. That’s why making sure that our economy improves and provides good jobs is my top priority. We can’t have a thriving America without a thriving middle class."
  • Fiscal Responsibility: "Getting our nation’s finances under control is critically important. We can do it—but only if we also focus on growing our economy. That is why I support a balanced approach that includes spending cuts as well as making sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share."
  • Social Security and Medicare: "I have pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare, and make sure that it is available to future generations. Millions of Americans have paid into Social Security and Medicare expecting that it would be there when they retired. For many Americans, this is their only source of income and health care security in their senior years–and they deserve representatives who will fight to make sure its there for them."
  • Border Security: "Southern Arizonans who live near our border with Mexico deserve the same safety and security as every American. I have spent countless hours along our border meeting with residents, business owners, and law enforcement officials, and I know what we need to get the job done."
  • Military and Veterans: "I was raised in a military family and lived on Davis-Monthan Air Force base, so I understand what our military families sacrifice when they serve. I will be a strong voice in Congress for those who serve currently and have served."


—Ron Barber's campaign website,

Martha McSally

McSally's campaign website lists the following four pillars of her campaign:[37]

  • Economy: "Families in our community are barely getting by, small businesses are struggling to survive, and Davis-Monthan is at risk of closing. Ron Barber favors job-killing policies that hurt middle class families and he was asleep at the wheel on the risk to DM until I alerted him in an August 27th op-ed. We need a representative in Congress who is going to champion solutions and policies that bring economic growth to Southern Arizona."
  • Leadership: "Washington is broken. People are rightfully fed up with politicians and incumbents. We need servant leadership more than ever, focused on what is best for the country and community, instead of worrying about their next election. I am ready to bring to Congress the core values I learned in the Air Force; service, excellence, and integrity. It’s time for a fresh face with a proven record of leadership to solve the challenges we face."
  • Government Overreach: "So many people in Southern Arizona have been hurt by Obamacare-the government takeover of 1/6 of the economy, and Ron Barber supports it. We need common sense solutions to bring down the cost of healthcare so it is more affordable and available, not social engineering founded on mandates, taxes, and penalties."
  • National Security: "America is facing an increasing array of threats to our security and way of life and we must ensure we have a military that is trained and equipped to protect us. This district contains two critical military bases, a large stretch of the border that is not secure, and 85,000 veterans, as well as citizens who care deeply about the lack of leadership in DC on national security, defense, and support to veterans. I served 26 years in the military, retiring as a full Colonel, and I have the experience and proven leadership to provide oversight to the Administration to defend America."


—Martha McSally's campaign website,

Key votes

Below are important votes the incumbent cast during the 113th Congress.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[38] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[39] Ron Barber voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[40]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[41] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Ron Barber voted for HR 2775.[42]

Campaign contributions

Ron Barber

Martha McSally

Shelley Kais

Chuck Wooten

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 6, 2012, Ron Barber (D) won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Martha McSally (R) in the general election.

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRon Barber Incumbent 50.4% 147,338
     Republican Martha McSally 49.6% 144,884
     Libertarian Anthony Powell 0% 57
Total Votes 292,279
Source: Arizona Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Trent Franks won re-election to the United States House. He defeated John Thrasher (D), Powell Gammill (L), William Crum (Write-in) and Mark Rankin (Write-in) in the general election.[66]

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTrent Franks incumbent 64.9% 173,173
     Democratic John Thrasher 31.1% 82,891
     Libertarian Powell Gammill 4.1% 10,820
     Write-in William Crum 0% 8
     Write-in Mark Rankin 0% 2
Total Votes 266,894

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR June 26, 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 28, 2014
  3., "CD2 recount could take 2 weeks," November 29, 2014
  4. KPHO, "Pima County to do 2nd District hand recount Monday," December 15, 2014
  5. Arizona Public Media, "UPDATE: McSally Wins Congressional Seat, Recount Confirms," December 17, 2014
  6. The Hill, "Barber campaign files federal lawsuit ahead of recount," November 24, 2014
  7. AZcentral, "Recount set to begin in Barber-McSally race," December 1, 2014
  8. Arizona Public Media, "2nd Congressional District Seat May Be Up to Convincing Independents," accessed October 16, 2014
  9. Arizona Secretary of State, "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election," November 6, 2012
  10. FairVote, "FairVote Releases Projections for the 2014 Congressional Elections," accessed November 5, 2013
  11. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed April 4, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Hill, "NRCC, promising to 'stay on offense,' targets seven Dems," accessed January 16, 2013
  13., "Voting With Party," accessed October 16, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Arizona Republic, "McSally's time: A GOP talent rises," accessed October 16, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Tucson Weekly, "Etch-a-Sketch Election," accessed October 16, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4, "Round two in the ring: Barber, McSally take stage at public debate in Sierra Vista," accessed October 16, 2014
  17. Center for Politics, "2014 House," accessed October 16, 2014
  18. Rothenberg Political Report, "House Ratings," accessed October 16, 2014
  19. Cook Political Report, "2014 House Race Ratings for October 3, 2014," accessed October 16, 2014
  20. Real Clear Politics, "Arizona 2nd District - McSally vs. Barber," accessed October 16, 2014
  21. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  22. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  23. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  24. Arizona Secretary of State Website, "Voter Registration and Education," accessed January 3, 2014
  25. Arizona Redistricting, "Map," accessed July 7, 2012
  26. FairVote, "NRCC Targets Foreshadow Power of Partisanship in 2014 Elections," January 18, 2013
  27. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 The Huffington Post, "Ron Barber, Martha McSally Spar Over Controversial Gun Ad In Arizona Debate," October 7, 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 ABC News, "How Gabby Giffords Is Shaking Up a Competitive Congressional Race," accessed October 15, 2014
  30. Arizona Republic, "Vile ad bounces off McSally, sticks to Gabby Giffords," accessed October 15, 2014
  31. The Hill, "Group expects more than $1B in political ads by end of 2014 cycle," accessed October 15, 2014
  32. Political Party Time, "Luncheon for McSally Tobin Victory Committee," March 29, 2014
  33. Huffington Post, "In Showdown With Giffords, GOP Candidate Announces Support For Gun Limits On Stalkers," September 23, 2014
  34. Roll Call, "GOP Poll: McSally and Barber Tied in Arizona," July 11, 2013
  35. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed June 10, 2014
  36. 36.0 36.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  37. Campaign website, "The 3 Pillars of My Campaign," accessed June 10, 2014
  38. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  39. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  40. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  41. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  42. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber July Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber October Quarterly," accessed October 21, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Year-End," accessed February 4, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber April Quarterly," accessed April 20, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Pre-Primary," accessed October 20, 2014
  50. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  51. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Pre-General," accessed November 24, 2014
  52. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally April Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  53. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  54. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  55. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Year-End," accessed February 7, 2014
  56. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally April Quarterly," accessed April 30, 2014
  57. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2014
  58. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-Primary," accessed October 22, 2014
  59. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
  60. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-General," accessed November 24, 2014
  61. Federal Election Commission, "Shelley Kais Year-End," accessed February 7, 2014
  62. Federal Election Commission, "Shelley Kais April Quarterly," accessed April 30, 2014
  63. Federal Election Commission, "Shelley Kais July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2014
  64. Federal Election Commission, "Chuck Wooten April Quarterly," accessed June 3, 2014
  65. Federal Election Commission, "Chuck Wooten July Quarterly," accessed July 24, 2014
  66. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013