Joe Ferguson

Joe Ferguson, Arizona Daily Star reporter

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick denounced a fundraising email sent out by one of her would-be opponents in next year’s election.

The Tucson Democrat, serving her first term in the House representing Congressional District 2, released a statement earlier this week about the letter sent out by Republican Brandon Martin.

In the email, Martin said he needed help overcoming Kirkpatrick’s sizable lead in terms of fundraising to defeat her in 2020.

“Ann Kirkpatrick sits on the Appropriations Committee. ($$$ Big money donations $$$) She’s going to have a war chest in November 2020. I need ‘ammunition’ to remove her from office,” Martin wrote. “Will you load me up with a donation of $5, $10, $25 or more so I can train my sights on Ann Kirkpatrick and remove her from office in 2020?”

Kirkpatrick represents the district once held by Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in a shooting during a constituents’ event on Jan. 8, 2011, on the northwest side. Six people were killed and 13 were wounded in the shooting.

Alex Alvarez, a Kirkpatrick campaign spokesman, said Martin went too far.

“Threatening gun violence is disqualifying for anyone seeking to represent Arizona’s 2nd district,” said Alvarez. “For Southern Arizona, gun violence is personal. In just 19.6 seconds, 33 bullets were fired at a congressional event in Tucson hosted by Rep. Gabby Giffords. She and her district director, Ron Barber, were shot, alongside 17 others, six of them murdered.”

Martin rejected Kirkpatrick’s narrative.

“Ann Kirkpatrick’s claim that my fundraising email is ‘threatening’ or promotes ‘violence’ is just that, a claim. Any reasonably intelligent person, which I can now only assume Ann is not, would understand that ‘ammunition’ is clearly a euphemism for monetary campaign contributions,” Martin said. “I noted she did not bother to call attention to the portion of my email where I made it clear I wanted to ‘politically remove her from office.’”

Martin added Kirkpatrick is using his emails to deflect from her records on guns.

Martin ran for Congress in 2018, but finished second in the Republican primary behind Lea Marquez Peterson.

O’Rourke in Tucson on Sunday

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke will come to Tucson on Sunday, holding a public gathering near the University of Arizona campus.

Tucson will be the second location the former Texas congressman will visit Sunday, stopping in Phoenix earlier in the day.

O’Rourke is expected to denounce what he calls inhumane treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers, demand urgent congressional action on gun violence, and speak out on corruption inside the Trump administration.

O’Rourke will also talk about former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who left office in 2017, a campaign news release says.

The now 87-year old Republican, who was pardoned by President Trump, recently announced he wants his old job back and will run for office in 2020.

The mid-afternoon event featuring O’Rourke will be at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co., 865 E. University Blvd. Doors open at 3 p.m.

Those who want to attend need to RSVP through O’Rourke’s campaign website,

Republican write-in candidate for mayor drops out

Albert Pesqueira, the sole Republican running in Tucson’s mayoral race, has ended his write-in campaign, acknowledging he lacked the support he needed to win.

Pesqueira, a former social worker and youth pastor, also conceded he filed candidate paperwork too late to be a viable candidate.

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“I officially resign from the mayoral race. I make this decision with much reflection and thought on several matters. I greatly appreciate all the verbal support and social media posts I received. I realized the disadvantage I had starting this so late in the election,” Pesqueira wrote on Facebook.

He thanked those that supported him, including his wife.

“I thank the five donors we had for their donations,” Pesqueira added. Pesqueira’s GoFundMe campaign had six donors and raised $750.

He urged voters to back former Democrat-turned-independent Ed Ackerley in November’s general election against Democrat Regina Romero.

Deadline to register to vote is Monday

Those who want to vote in next month’s general election who have recently moved, changed their names or are not registered to vote in Pima County only have a few days left.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight Monday.

As the elections for the Sunnyside Unified School District, Flowing Wells Unified School district, Amphitheater Unified School District, Altar Valley School District, and Golder Ranch Fire District as well as the city of Tucson will be conducted entirely by mail, those who plan on voting next month need to update their mailing address before the deadline.

County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez urges those wanting to register to use and complete the registration form online.

Printed forms are available at multiple locations throughout the county, including the Pima County Recorder’s Office, all post offices, public libraries, political party headquarters and city/town halls.

But those forms must be turned in no later than Monday night at one of the two recorder’s offices: the downtown office, located at 240 North Stone Ave., or the eastside office, 6920 E. Broadway.

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