Republican Jim Brown (R-Tucson), has left the race for Congressional District No. 1 to challenge for a seat in CD2.
Brown was clearly a long-shot candidate in CD1, as he was challenging established names such as Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin (R-Paulden) and State Rep. Adam Kwasman (R-Oro Valley) in the Republican primary.
Kwasman represents Legislative District No. 11, which includes Maricopa.
But according to Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO, the main reason Brown left the race is because of his support for the other Republican running in CD1 – wealthy oilman and rancher Gary Kiehne.
"It's clear to me that the voters of Arizona's First Congressional District have a great candidate in Gary Kiehne," Brown said in a statement Feb. 28. "Therefore, I've made the decision to leave the race in CD1 and instead run in CD2 so that voters can unite behind Gary and take that seat back from Ann Kirkpatrick."
Kirkpatrick, a Democrat from Flagstaff, is the incumbent in CD1.
The 62-year-old Brown is originally from Texas and has a background in small business, owning a marketing firm and a home improvement company.
When I interviewed him last month, Brown told me he was an “outsider” – the classic anti-politician.
“I'm running against the establishment,” he said.
While CD1 is the largest, most sprawling district in the state, covering everything from northern Arizona to Maricopa to the southeast part of the state in Safford, CD2 is more confined to the southeast and includes about two-thirds of Tucson.
Brown will challenge Republicans Martha McSally, Shelley Kais and Chuck Wooten in the Republican primary, and the winner will battle incumbent Ron Barber (D-Tucson).
Republicans have good reason to believe they can wrest control from Democrats in CD1 and CD2 because the the 2012 elections were incredibly close.
In the 2012 CD2 election, Barber edged McSally in one of the closest races in the nation – he won by less than 1 percentage point (50.4 percent to 49.6 percent). Election night was Nov. 6, but with the race too close to call, Barber wasn't declared the official winner until Nov. 17.