The field of Democrats to replace retiring Congressman Ed Pastor in Congressional District 7 just got a little less crowded.
State Senator Steve Gallardo announced that he's going to run for a spot on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors instead of a seat in Congress.
-Steve Gallardo Comes Out: "I'm Gay, I'm a Latino, and I'm a State Senator"
-Ed Pastor to Retire After 23 Years in Congress
Gallardo had been one of three big-name Democratic candidates in the congressional race, which also includes Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, and former state Representative Ruben Gallego.
Gallardo explained his reasoning in a statement: State Senator Anna Tovar had planned to run for Wilcox's seat on the board of supervisors, but announced last week that she's not going to be running for public office again this year. Gallardo will be running for that spot instead:
"I was prepared to run and win in CD7, but our community cannot afford to take a step backwards in leadership at the County. I am confident that CD7 will be in good hands, but it is absolutely vital that we have bold and experienced leadership at the County.
"I have more than a dozen years of experience working for this county's elections department, and I will fight to continue fair elections and to expand voting rights in Maricopa County. And Sheriff Arpaio has proven time and again that he needs constant unintimidated oversight to protect our civil rights and hold him accountable. That is leadership that I will provide."
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Earlier this year, Gallardo came out as gay amid the fight over SB 1062, which was perceived to be an anti-gay bill.
Meanwhile, in the fight for the congressional seat, whichever Democrat wins the primary shouldn't have too much of a problem winning the general election -- the district's voters opted for President Obama in 2012 by a 72 percent to 27 percent margin over Mitt Romney.
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