Damien Kennedy hopes to win the Republican nomination in the August primary election and challenge Democrat Raúl Grijalva for a seat in Congress, but Kennedy has only been a registered Republican for 8 months.

In an interview last week Kennedy said he's running for Congress because he's seen a drastic decline in voter participation. He believes that's because voters weren't hearing a voice that represented them, and he wants to be that voice.

Kennedy, 37, was a lifelong Democrat until last year. He said he chose that party because his father was a Democrat.

He said "when I actually started paying attention to politics" he realized his views aligned with the Republican party. 

"I believe the right person for the job matters more than the party," Kennedy told the Star.

Kennedy registered as a Republican voter in Pima County in September 2013 and had been registered as a Democrat since June 2006, according to the Pima County Registrar of Voters.

He previously lived in Missouri, where he was a registered voter. Kennedy never registered to vote in Maricopa County, where he lived for 6 years while attending college.

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