Arizona's 2nd congressional district

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Arizona's 2nd congressional district
Arizona US Congressional District 2 (since 2013).tif
Arizona's 2nd congressional district since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Martha McSally (RTucson)
Area 20,219 sq mi (52,370 km2)
  • 89% urban
  • 11% rural
Population (2015) 713,631[1]
Median income 42,432
Cook PVI R+1[2]

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.

District history[edit]

When Arizona was divided into congressional districts for the first time after the 1950 Census, the 2nd District comprised the entire state outside of the Phoenix area. Arizona gained a third district after the 1960 Census, and the 2nd was cut back to roughly the southern third of the state, stretching border-to-border from New Mexico to California. It ran along the entire length of the border with Mexico. By far the district's largest city was Tucson. The next largest city was Yuma, in the far west. After a mid-decade redistricting in 1967, the district was pushed slightly to the north, picking up a portion of southern Phoenix. This configuration remained largely unchanged until the 1980 Census, when much of eastern Tucson was drawn into the new 5th District.

The 2nd district remained based in southern Arizona until the 2000 Census, when Arizona picked up two districts. At that time, the old 2nd district essentially became the new 7th District, while most of the old 3rd District became the new 2nd District. Located in the northwestern corner of the state, it stretched into the western suburbs of Phoenix, known as the West Valley. 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.

The size and diversity of the 2nd district (it included nearly all of the northwestern portion of the state) made it appear rural on a map. However, over 90 percent of its population lived in the strongly conservative 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 the redistricting to historic tensions between the Hopi and the Navajo Native American tribes and since tribal boundary disputes are a federal matter, it was long believed inappropriate to include both tribes' reservations in the same congressional district.[3] However, the Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation. 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. 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 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.

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. That district, in turn, had been the 5th District from 1983 to 2003.

In the 2014 midterms, the district was the very last House of Representatives race to be decided, as the official recount began on December 1 due to Republican Martha McSally leading incumbent Democratic congressman Ron Barber by fewer than 200 votes.

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 silver 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 located within a couple miles of the district border, located in central Tucson. Approximately 2.8% of adults 25 and older have completed education lower than 9th grade; 5.5% have completed education 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 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 multiple golf courses are located through 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%
2016 President Clinton 50 - 45%

List of representatives[edit]

After the 1948 elections, Arizona began using separate districts to elect its members to the House of Representatives rather than using a general ticket due to having gained a second seat in the House with the data from 1940 Census.

Representative Party Term Congress(es) Electoral history Geography and counties[4][5][6]
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 21, 1961
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of the Interior.
Vacant January 21, 1961 –
May 2, 1961
Morris King Udall (cropped).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 the 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)
Trent Franks, official portrait, 114th Congress (cropped).jpg Trent Franks Republican January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2013
First elected in 2002.

Redistricted to the 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 –
January 3, 2015
113 Redistricted from the 8th district.

Lost re-election.
Arizona US Congressional District 2 (since 2013).tif
Southeastern Arizona:
Cochise, Pima (part)
Martha McSally official portrait cropped.jpg Martha McSally Republican January 3, 2015 –
First elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2016.

Recent election results[edit]


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Franks 100,359 59.92%
Democratic Randy Camacho 61,217 36.55%
Libertarian Edward Carlson 5,919 3.53%
Majority 39,142 23.37%
Total votes 167,502 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Franks* 165,260 59.17%
Democratic Randy Camacho 107,406 38.46%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 6,625 2.37%
Majority 57,854 20.71%
Total votes 279,303 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Franks* 135,150 58.62%
Democratic John Thrasher 89,671 38.89%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 5,734 2.49%
Majority 45,479 19.73%
Total votes 230,560 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Franks* 200,914 59.44%
Democratic John Thrasher 125,611 37.16%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 7,882 2.33%
Green William Crum 3,616 1.07%
Majority 75,303 22.28%
Total votes 338,023 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Trent Franks* 173,173 64.89%
Democratic John Thrasher 82,891 31.06%
Libertarian Powell Gammill 10,820 4.05%
Majority 90,282 33.83%
Total votes 266,884 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ron Barber* 147,338 50.41%
Republican Martha McSally 144,884 49.57%
Write-in Write-ins 57 0.02%
Majority 2,454 0.84%
Total votes 292,279 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Martha McSally 109,704 49.81%
Democratic Ron Barber* 109,583 49.75%
Write-in Write-ins 1,007 0.46%
Majority 121 0.0005%
Total votes 220,254 100.00%
Republican gain from Democratic


Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District House Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Martha McSally* 179,806 56.96%
Democratic Matt Heinz 135,873 43.04%
Majority 43,933 14%
Total votes 315,679 100%
Republican hold

Living former Members[edit]

As of April 2015, three former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 2nd congressional district are currently living. The most recent representative to die was Stewart Udall (1955-1961) on March 20, 2010. The most recently serving representative to die was Mo Udall (1961-1991) on December 12, 1998.

Representative Term in office Date of birth (and age)
Ed Pastor 1991 - 2003 (1943-06-28) June 28, 1943 (age 75)
Trent Franks 2003 - 2013 (1957-06-19) June 19, 1957 (age 61)
Ron Barber 2013 - 2015 (1945-08-25) August 25, 1945 (age 73)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  3. ^ Pitzi, Mary Jo, 2011. Navajos seek tribal-dominated district in Arizona. Arizona Republic, Published September 16, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  4. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983. New York: Macmillan Publishing. 
  5. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. New York: Macmillan Publishing. 
  6. ^ Congressional Directory: Browse 105th Congress Archived February 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

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