Kirkpatrick, Marquez Peterson

Ann Kirkpatrick, left, and Lea Marquez Peterson, candidates for U.S. Congress, Arizona District 2.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling the plug on a planned six-figure ad buy in Congressional District 2 weeks before the general election.

The move has some wondering whether one of largest national groups singularly dedicated to electing Republicans to the House of Representatives has lost faith in its candidate, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lea Marquez Peterson.

A spokesperson for the NRCC confirmed that the group would stop spending money on ads next week, but declined to discuss the reasons why it would shift an estimated $400,000 to races in other districts or states.

Republican political consultant Barrett Marson suggested the money just might be needed elsewhere.

“Obviously dollars are tight, and you want to put them where they have the most impact,” Marson said.

Noting the former Congressman Ron Barber lost to McSally by under 200 votes in 2018, Marson said not to write Marquez Peterson off quite yet.

“The good thing is that Lea has her own her resources to fight Ann Kirkpatrick,” he said. “It is going to be a close race regardless of the spending.”

Coming Wednesday: Grijalva, Pierson debate

Political junkies might get their last major fix in terms of major debates held in Tucson next week when Arizona Public Media hosts its final congressional debate on Wednesday with Rep. Raúl Grijalva and his Republican challenger, Nick Pierson.

The debate should be good as neither Pierson nor the Pima County Republican Party are backing away from what Pierson called Grijalva at the last debate — “a bad Mexican.”

But that is it; there are no more debates planned for Southern Arizona.

Attempts to get Rep. Martha McSally to debate her Democratic rival Kyrsten Sinema in her hometown have failed.

While Sinema first floated the idea for a debate hosted by AZPM several weeks ago, the proposal eventually fell apart as the two sides couldn’t agree.

Instead McSally and Sinema will take part in a debate in Phoenix on Monday, Oct. 15, hosted by Arizona PBS, in partnership with The Arizona Republic and

The bigger story might be in Arizona Congressional District 1, where Republican candidate Wendy Rogers is calling the current seat holder — Rep. Tom O’Halleran — “Invisible.”

“Don’t believe the lies from #InvisibleTom who is running around saying I won’t debate,” Rogers stated on Twitter earlier this week.

“I have given them 18 OCT & they declined. I’m traveling the district doing rallies in all the small towns of #AZ01. Meeting with voters is my top priority!”

O’Halleran, who was in town last week, told me that he has repeatedly offered to open his events and media interviews so that he could debate Rogers.

Is Trump coming to Arizona?

McSally reportedly told ABC 15 on Thursday in Phoenix that President Trump is coming to Arizona.

The two-term Republican from Tucson said Trump would join her on stage at some campaign rally.

Neither the White House or the Arizona Republican Party would confirm that a presidential visit is certain, so details like a date or location are still a mystery.

Ballots are in the mail

Keep an eye out for that not-so-little green envelope from the Pima County Recorder’s Office.

A record 390,000 mail-in ballots were sent out Wednesday, Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez confirmed earlier this week.

Generally speaking, Rodriguez says it is safe to mail back your ballot no later than the Thursday before the election, Nov. 1.

Once the ballot has been mailed back, voters can check their returned ballot status at and look for the “Ballot by Mail Status” option.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.