Baldenegro drops out of race

| May 13 2012
Christopher Cook

But not the Baldenegro you might think:

Sal Baldenegro is quitting the legislative race in the South Side LD2, he announced Friday afternoon. Baldenegro said he was ending his run for the state House to focus on his wife’s CD1 congressional campaign.

“I have made the decision to leave in order to focus, 100%, on my wife Wenona Benally Baldenegro’s historic congressional run,” he said in an email. [ . . . ]

Wenona Benally Baldenegro faces former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the August primary in the 1st Congressional District, which stretches from Flagstaff down the eastern edge of Arizona to Oro Valley.

She would be the first Native American woman in Congress if she is elected.

Kirkpatrick may have a leg up to win the primary over Wenona Benally Baldenegro, a the Democratic Party machine is dumping tons of money into Kirkpatrick’s campaign. Of course, the first district does include a fair amount of Reservation territory, and if there is heavy turnout among the Navajo, Hopi, and others, it might impact the race. Gosar, the Republican who currently represents the district, has a decent relationship with the local tribes, and defeated Kirkpatrick for the seat in 2010.

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