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Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat

Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat
© Greg Nash

Arizona state Sen. Kirsten Engel (D) is running to fill the House seat set to be vacated by Rep. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickDemocrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Surgeon who treated Gabby Giffords after shooting launches House bid in Arizona These House lawmakers aren't seeking reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Ariz.), who announced her retirement last week.

Engel, who represents a portion of Pima County in the state Senate, announced her bid for Arizona’s 2nd District in a short Twitter thread on Friday.

“I'm excited to share some pretty BIG news -- I’m running for Congress!” Engel tweeted, thanking Kirkpatirk "for her dedicated service to the people of southern Arizona."

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Engle said she’s running for Congress to “help southern AZ families and small businesses -- to not only recover from the global pandemic, but to take that next step to building a sustainable economy with opportunities for all.”

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Engel was elected to the state Senate last year after serving in the state House of Representatives since 2017. She was previously an environmental attorney and a professor at the University of Arizona College of Law. 

Kirkpatrick, who has served in the House since 2009, told The Arizona Republic last week that she will be retiring.

"I've been in public service for 18 years and I've always been a proponent of term limits and ... I'm sort of term-limiting myself," she said.

The retirement gives Republicans a chance to take back the 2nd District, which was previously held by former Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection MORE (R-Ariz.) before she entered the upper chamber.

Kirkpatrick won reelection by 11 points last year against GOP challenger Brandon Martin.