The Night Ruben Gallego
Became A Congressman
In An Important Democratic Primary, Ruben Gallego Gains The Nomination — And Effectively The Congressional Seat — More Than Two Months Before The General Election
By Clipper Arnold
Special for Modern Times Magazine
Sep. 4, 2014 — This past Tuesday, Ruben Gallego successfully won the democratic nomination for Congressional District 7 after receiving close to fifty percent of the vote.
By doing so, he effectively was also elected the newest U.S. Rep. from Arizona.
Of course, this is not how it usually goes in politics. Typically, a candidate must win in a general election, but as usual, there are very few things in Arizona politics that can be considered ‘typical.’
The seat was formerly held by the retiring democrat Ed Pastor and is up for grabs after 25 years. Historically and demographically, it is also a democratic district. Democrats Mary Rose Wilcox, Randy Camacho, and Jarrett Maupin all contended against Gallego for the endorsement of the democratic party.
There is no republican representation in the race, which makes sense seeing as how the primarily urban district historically votes democrat. As the winner of the highly contested democratic primary, Ruben Gallego will very likely be the next representative for District 7. The Harvard graduate and military veteran will continue his campaign through the general election (which takes place on Nov. 4), facing off against the libertarian candidate, Joe Cobb.
The campaign celebration was well attended by campaign contributors and supporters. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, as well as various young interns and campaign volunteers, were also in attendance. Several times throughout the night, Gallego and others emphasized how hard their team worked to canvass voters, even in 110-degree weather. Gallego’s campaign team and advisors included veterans from both the Stanton and Carmona campaigns.
His communications director said the Gallego campaign made efficient use of technology and databases to target voters and encourage them to vote. He said in order to keep pace with technological innovation, integration of resources such as these are becoming a necessity when compared to a more traditional pen and paper approach. However, other aspects of canvassing and voter engagement remain the same, that is, having real conversations with real people about issues that are important to them.
Stanton said that there’s no one else in Washington who will fight harder for comprehensive immigration reform than Ruben Gallego. Applause was consistent throughout the night, peaking when Gallego stepped on stage to accept the win after Mary Rose Wilcox announced her withdrawal from the race.
A lot of the rhetoric from speakers focused on increasing education quality in Arizona, improving immigration policy, assisting veterans, and “turning Arizona blue.” There was also discussion on women’s health and improving infrastructure.
When asked how he felt about the win, Gallego said, “it feels great, it feels outstanding to know that all the work my friends and I put in, all the walking in 110 degree weather has payed off.”
As far as what’s next, Gallego said his team would continue to pound the pavement in an effort to get as many democrats out to vote in order to “help every democrat up and down the ticket.”
When asked how it felt to be one step closer to being a U.S. representative, Gallego said, “It feels heavy, there’s a heavy burden I’m about to take on but it’s something I’m very proud of. It’s something I’m going to have to expect to work my heart out for in order to keep the honor and trust that people gave me by voting for me and I’m going to have to just keep going.”
As for his fellow democratic competitors, Gallego said “Mary Rose Wilcox and I talked on the phone and we look forward to working together in the future.”
Clipper Arnold is a writer from the Phoenix metro.
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