Arizona's 2nd congressional district

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Arizona's 2nd congressional district
Current Representative Ron Barber (DTucson)
Area 20,219 mi²
Distribution 89% urban, 11% rural
Population (2000) 641,329
Median income $42,432
Ethnicity 85.5% White, 2.2% Black, 1.7% Asian, 14.2% Hispanic, 2.2% Native American, 6% other
Cook PVI R+3[1]

Arizona's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of Arizona. It contains the southeastern corner of the state, including roughly two-thirds of Tucson.

After the 2012 census, the bulk of the Maricopa County portion of the old 2nd became the 8th District, while the new 2nd District took in most of the territory of the old 8th district. In effect, this meant that Franks and 8th District congressman Ron Barber switched district numbers.

The district from 2003 to 2013

District history[edit]

From 2003 to 2013, the district contained the northwestern corner of the state and most of the western suburbs of Phoenix as well as a small portion of the city itself. It consisted of all of Peoria (within the exception of the portion of that city within Yavapai County) and Surprise, most of Glendale and much of western Phoenix in Maricopa County, all of Mohave County, and the Hopi Nation in Navajo and Coconino counties. Despite the size and diversity of the district (it included nearly all of the northwestern portion of the state), over 90 percent of its population lived in the strongly conservative western suburbs of Phoenix (known as the West Valley), historically a fairly safe Republican area.

The odd shape of the district was indicative of the use of gerrymandering in its construction. The unusual division was not, however, drawn to favor politicians. Owing to historic tensions between the Hopi and the Navajo Native American tribes and since tribal boundary disputes are a federal matter, it was thought inappropriate that both tribes should be represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by the same member.[2] Since the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation, and in order to comply with current Arizona redistricting laws, some means of connection was required that avoided including large portions of Navajo land, hence the narrow riverine connection.

George W. Bush carried the district in 2004 with 61% of the vote. Native son John McCain won the district in 2008 with 60.75% of the vote while Barack Obama received 38.07%.

During the Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008 Arizona Democratic Primary, the district was won by Hillary Rodham Clinton with 54.52% of the vote while Barack Obama received 35.62% and John Edwards took in 7.43%. In the Arizona Republican Primary, the 2nd District was won by favorite son John McCain with 49.51% while Mitt Romney received 29.51% and Mike Huckabee took in 10.46% of the vote in the district.

History and demographics[edit]

Athabaskan-speaking Native Americans lived in this region long before the arrival of the Europeans who established the Arizona Territory. In the late 19th century, Apache chief Cochise and a band of Chiricahuas built their stronghold on the Dragoon range of mountains. The tribe would often ambush and rob passersby as an attempt to keep interlopers off their land. The presence of the tribe deterred the settlement of the area for far longer than the rest of the Arizona Territory. The district, containing a county now called by his name, developed when its varied and valuable resources were found in the 1870s. The discovery of mines in 1878 in the Tombstone district spurred much growth and investment in the area.


The district is covered by mountains and wide valleys. The district is high desert grasslands with elevations from 3500 to 6000 feet. Several mountain ranges run through the district with the highest peak in the Chiricahua Mountains at 9,796 feet. Southeast Arizona is at an ecological crossroads where habitats and species from the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts can all be found. The abrupt rise of mountains from the surrounding grasslands creates unique habitats harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals. The area has a semi-arid climate with moderate winters and hot summers. Precipitation rarely exceeds one inch in any month other than July, August, and September, when high intensity, but short-lived monsoon storms can occur.

Main industries[edit]

Primary job fields of the people in the district include agriculture, ranching, livestock, mining, and tourism. The main irrigated crops are cotton, wheat, corn, grain, sorghum, alfalfa, hay, apples, peaches, cherries, grapes, pistachios, pecans, lettuce, chilis, and other vegetables. The area has a multitude of U-pick vegetable farms and orchards, including several organic farms. Greenhouse tomato and cucumber operations have been completed in the past few years with much success. In Cochise County there is the U.S. Army base Fort Huachuca and numerous military-industrial companies. In suburban and urban areas, Wal-Marts are the most abundant superstores.


Located within the district is Cochise College, a two-year college. The University of Arizona is within a couple miles of the district border, located in central Tucson. Approximately 2.8% of adults 25 and older have completed less than 9th grade; 5.5% have completed between 9th and 12th grade but have not received a diploma; 17.9% are high school graduates; 26.8% have some college but no degree; 7.5% have an associate’s degree; 26.1% have a bachelor’s degree; and 13.5% have a graduate or professional degree.

Tourism and recreation[edit]

Tourism is an important industry as the district has numerous natural wonders, national forests, parks, and conservation areas. There are multiple caverns (including the renowned Kartchner Caverns) and canyons available for visitation. Hiking, camping, fishing, and boating can be found throughout the region. There are also Apache historical sites, war memorials, museums, tour trains, and mine tours. Golfing is popular, and there are multiple golf courses across the district.


Election results from presidential races
Year Office Results
2000 President Bush 56 - 41%
2004 President Bush 61 - 38%
2008 President McCain 61 - 38%
2012 President Romney 50 - 48%

List of representatives[edit]

Arizona transitioned from electing its members of the House from separate districts with the 1948 elections, after using a general ticket since gaining a second seat in the House with the 1940 Census.

Representative Party Term Congress(es) Electoral history Geography and counties[3][4][5]
Harold Patten Democratic January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1955
Retired All except Maricopa
Stewart L Udall - 1960s.gif Stewart Udall Democratic January 3, 1955 –
January 18, 1961
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Vacant January 21, 1961 –
May 2, 1961
Morris Udall.jpg Mo Udall Democratic May 2, 1961 –
January 3, 1963
First elected to finish his brother's term
Resigned for health reasons
January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1973
South Arizona, including Tucson:
Cochise, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yuma
January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1983
Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, Maricopa (part), Pinal (part)
January 3, 1983 –
May 4, 1991
Southwest Arizona, including parts of Metro Phoenix and of Tucson:
Maricopa (part), Pima (part), Pinal (part), Santa Cruz (part), Yuma (part)
Vacant May 4, 1991 –
October 3, 1991
Edpastor.jpg Ed Pastor Democratic October 3, 1991 –
January 3, 1993
First elected to finish Udall's term
Redistricted to 4th district
January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 2003
Southwest Arizona, including parts of Metro Phoenix and of Tucson:
Yuma, Maricopa (part), Pima (part), Pinal (part)
TrentFranks.JPG Trent Franks Republican January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2013
First elected in 2002
Redistricted to 8th district
Parts of Metro Phoenix, extending to NW Arizona, plus the Hopi Reservation:
Mohave, Coconino (part), La Paz (part), Maricopa (part), Navajo (part)
Rob barber, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Ron Barber Democratic January 3, 2013 –
113 Redistricted from 8th district Southeastern Arizona:
Cochise, Pima (part)

Recent elections[edit]


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Democratic Party Ed Pastor 53,421 68
  Republican Party Bill Barenholtz 22,283 29


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Democratic Party Ed Pastor 79,569 69
  Republican Party Bill Barenholtz 31,770 28


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Party Trent Franks 85,032 59
  Democratic Party Randy Camacho 53,426 37
  Libertarian Party Edward Carlson 5,198 4


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Party Trent Franks 165,260 59
  Democratic Party Randy Camacho 107,406 39
  Libertarian Party Powell Gammill 6,625 2


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Party Trent Franks 97,100 58.2
  Democratic Party John Thrasher 65,490 39.2
  Libertarian Party Powell Gammill 4,280 2.6


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Party Trent Franks 184,617 59.5
  Democratic Party John Thrasher 114,982 37.1
  Libertarian Party Powell Gammill 7,148 2.3


Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Party Trent Franks 173,173 64.89
  Democratic Party John Thrasher 82,891 31.06
  Libertarian Party Powell Gammill 10,820 4.05


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008". The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Pitzi, Mary Jo, 2011. Navajos seek tribal-dominated district in Arizona. Arizona Republic, Published September 16, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  3. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1982.
  4. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1989.
  5. ^ Congressional Directory: Browse 105th Congress

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°54′59″N 109°56′19″W / 31.91639°N 109.93861°W / 31.91639; -109.93861