State Sen. Kelly Townsend Announces Congressional Run in Arizona’s Open New 6th District Seat


State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction) announced she is running for Arizona’s newly redrawn Sixth Congressional District (CD) seat, which is an open seat due to Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02) declining to run for reelection. The sprawling Southeast Arizona rural district runs from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Mogollon Rim and the New Mexico border to Casa Grande. Townsend lives in Apache Junction, in the newly drawn CD Five, about 60 miles from CD Six, but there is no requirement for her to live in the district she runs in, only that she live within the state.

Townsend told Capitol Media Services, “Anybody who knows me knows that my heart has been down in the southern part of the state anyway. That’s where I go for leisure, and that’s where I go to work.” Townsend filed a complaint last year with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich about Tucson’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. After Brnovich issued an opinion declaring that the mandate was illegal, the city paused it.

She made the announcement January 17 on The Conservative Circus with James T. Harris on KFYI 550. In a statement on Twitter about it, Townsend said, “I am joining a field of good people in response to the hundreds of people who have reached out to me before and since the new maps were approved. While they had had various issues that were important to them, what they all had in common was a desire for a proven fighter who had a record of winning.”

Townsend, who former President Donald Trump has praised multiple times, will face off against Juan Ciscomani of Tucson in the Republican primary. He is a former advisor to Gov. Doug Ducey and was endorsed by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-23-CA). In her statement, Townsend distinguished herself from him by saying “she is the only candidate with a voting record that demonstrates the ideology and backbone needed to stand up to the establishment in Washington D.C. and put the people of Arizona first.”

Townsend has a solid record in the Arizona Legislature opposing draconian COVID-19 restrictions and combating election fraud. At a January 15 Trump rally in Florence, Arizona, Townsend led the crowd in a chant regarding findings of possible election fraud in the Maricopa County independent audit. “What do we want?” she asked. “Indictments!” the crowd roared. “When do we want them?” “Now!”

She said in her statement that she has “a 100% pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and pro-taxpayer record, and … a long record of fighting for secure borders, an end to illegal immigration, [and] expansion of school choice.” Townsend is currently chair of the Arizona Senate Government Committee.

On the Democratic side, she will face off against State Rep. Daniel Hernandez (D-Tucson) and former State Sen. Kirsten Engel (D-Tucson).

By running for Congress instead of reelection, she avoids a potentially awkward primary race against another patriotic conservative, State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff). The redistricting put her in the same district as Rogers’ Legislative District Seven. Rogers has raised $2.5 million for her reelection bid. Townsend will remain in the state senate while running. She also chose not to run in her home district, otherwise she would face off against Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05).

Before Kirkpatrick, Republican Martha McSally held the seat, and prior to her, Democrat Gabby Giffords.

During her 10-year legislative career, Townsend has never lost an election. Townsend began her career in the Navy, where she worked as a mechanic on aircraft, and then pursued a corporate management. She has been a birth doula and authored several books. She is a leader in the Article 5 movement, which would have the states call a convention to make constitutional amendments. The primary election is August 2.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Kelly Townsend” by Kelly Townsend. 



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