Democratic state Rep. Randy Friese enters congressional race

March 25, 2021 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — State Rep. Randy Friese of Tucson announced Thursday he’s running for Congress, joining a fellow Democratic legislator in what could become a crowded race to replace retiring Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick.

Friese is a trauma surgeon who has served in the Arizona House since 2015.

State Sen. Kirsten Engel, also from Tucson, announced her candidacy Friday.

Friese’s candidacy announcement cited his background as a U.S. Navy Medical Corps veteran and a retired University of Arizona College of Medicine professor and his treatment of then-U.S. Rep. Gabriel Giffords after she was critically wounded in the Jan. 8, 2011 mass shooting in Tucson.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’ve dedicated my career to saving and improving the lives of others,” Friese said.

Boundaries of the 2nd Congressional District’s boundaries likely will change due to redistricting ahead of the 2022 election, but it currently includes parts of Tucson and southeastern Arizona.

The district is one of the most hotly contested in the state with races often decided by razor-thin margins.