Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick has won the race for a U.S. House seat in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.
Kirkpatrick, of Flagstaff, represented District 1 for one term after the 2008 election. She lost her seat to U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar in 2010.
After her win was announced Wednesday, she issued the following statement:
"The voters of District 1 have spoken, and I will never forget that they are the reason I am returning to Congress. I will be deeply honored to represent them again.
"There are few districts in our nation quite like CD1, and its diversity and complexities are not always understood by outsiders. But the voters of this district ultimately decide who represents them, and their voice has been heard.
"I thank my opponent, Jonathan Paton, for the spirited race he ran, and I extend my hand to the folks who voted for him - I will work hard to give them a voice in D.C. That's what representation is all about. It's about listening, about finding common ground, about working toward solutions.
"Every day on the campaign trail, I was reminded of what unites the more than 80 communities across our sprawling district: creating jobs, protecting Medicare, strengthening education, helping our veterans. These are not partisan issues, they are the very foundation of our future.
"I ran on these issues, and they will be my priorities in Congress. I look forward to once again representing the good people of District 1 - my extended family."
Kirkpatrick said her chief priority is bringing jobs to the district. "To create the jobs our middle class needs we must jump-start our economy," she said on her website. "We need to support our small businesses and make sure American jobs are not shipped overseas."
Republican Jonathan Paton, of Marana, is a former state legislator and lobbyist for a payday loan company. He entered the race last spring. Opponents have blasted him as "Payday Paton" for his work as a lobbyist.
Paton issued the following statement on Nov. 12:
"Nearly a year ago we began this campaign journey together, and faced the greatest of odds: A district the size of the state of Pennsylvania. A 9-point Democratic registration advantage. The challenge of finding the resources to be competitive with so many big races up and down the ballot.
"But with your help we built a phenomenal campaign that gave the voters of Arizona a choice and impacted the debate. That's what democracy is about.
"I appreciate your patience as we waited for remaining votes to be counted in our race. It's now clear we have come up short. My sincere congratulations go out to Ann Kirkpatrick, and I wish her all the best in addressing the serious issues facing our country.
"I said throughout this campaign that it wasn't about me - it was about the country we love. I still believe that. I want nothing but the best for Arizona and America. I poured my heart and soul into this campaign, and I know you did too. While we didn't get the result we hoped for, ultimately, we are blessed to live in a country where "We the People" decide.
"I can't thank you enough for everything you did - from the dollars raised, to the calls you made, to the prayers you gave. For many of you the thanks extends back to 2010. After that loss, you never stopped believing. This time around, we worked harder, took nothing for granted, and as I added more than 100,000 miles to my Honda Civic, we made a lot of new friends along the way. I was inspired and motivated by your support as we traveled to every corner of this beautiful state.
"I never would have made it through this process without my loyal staff, and the support of my dad and fiancé Angie.
"And again, thank you. I promise I will never, ever forget all you have done.
"Let's keep fighting for America!"
Paton said he ran for Congress to "put an end to the blank check spending of President Obama and Ann Kirkpatrick and to restore fiscal sanity in Washington." He said he would seek lower taxes and has criticized the federal government's overregulation.
The Libertarian in the race was Kim Allen, a retired building contractor and Navy veteran.
The new 1st Congressional District stretches from northern Pima County all the way to the Utah border and encompasses many diverse communities including Marana, Oro Valley, Saddlebrooke, Casa Grande, Maricopa City, Globe, Safford the White Mountains, Flagstaff, Sedona and the Navajo Nation.
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