Pima County Democratic Party Legacy

As Pima County Democrats, we inherit a storied legacy in the youngest state of the Lower 48. Well-known and highly regarded figures not just in Arizona, but national icons, have begun their careers right here in Pima County.

Starting, perhaps, in the 1930s, with Isabella Greenway – the first woman to serve Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 1950s, Stewart Udall served as a Congressman until President John F. Kennedy tapped him to be U.S. Interior Secretary. He would hold that position for eight years.

Stewart’s kid brother, Morris K. Udall, won a special election to keep the seat in the family. Mo Udall’s dignity and kindness earned him an esteem few have equaled on Capitol Hill in the last half century. He served with distinction until 1991, when he resigned the seat as he battled Parkinson’s Disease.

In the 1978, Pima County Attorney Dennis DeConcini shocked the state by winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he became a major force on issues of national security and would cast a key vote in 1993 to pass the Clinton Economic Plan that would lead to a decade of prosperity.

We also have had strong local leaders like former South Tucson Mayor and County Supervisor Dan Eckstrom and former Congressman Jim McNulty pulled off a huge upset when he beat then state Sen. Jim Kolbe, the state legislator who had drawn up a Congressional district for himself, only to lose the race to the legendary southern Arizona Democrat.

Today, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva is a dogged leader on issues of social justice, immigration reform and environmental protection. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, known for her cutting edge work on solar energy and on behalf of U.S. troops, continues to inspire a nation that has embraced her as America’s Congresswoman (not so fast, Gabby is ours).

The Pima County Democratic Party boasts strong leaders in the Arizona Legislature and in local government. Yet it is made up of regular folks like you, who provide their time, labor and money to make our efforts go. We, as a community, come together under the banner of the Democratic Party to elect leaders who fight for social justice, opportunity for all and a better future for our community.

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