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End Mass Criminalization Wenona Benally Baldenegro Arizona’s New Democrats: Wenona’s Historic Bid Inspires Bipartisan Campaign Against Radical Tea Party Rep. Gosar
Monday, 11 July 2011 00:00

Arizona’s New Democrats: Wenona’s Historic Bid Inspires Bipartisan Campaign Against Radical Tea Party Rep. Gosar

Written by  Jeff Biggrs | AlterNet

In one of the largest Congressional districts in the nation, stretching across the rural heartland of eastern Arizona from the Four Corners region to the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, the historic candidacy of Wenona Benally Baldenegro for the Democratic nomination for Congress is marking a new era in Western politics.

For Arizonans exhausted by the extremist Tea Party machinations of freshman Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who many view more dedicated to the Tea Party’s beltway defiance of the Obama administration than the creation of jobs or protecting health care and investments in education, the hands-on rural American experience and Main Street platform ideas of public interest attorney Benally Baldenegro have galvanized a bipartisan campaign across the district’s diverse constituency.

“We’re extremely disappointed in Rep. Gosar,” said Vera Skorupski, a long-time registered Republican from Sedona, Arizona and a campaign supporter of Benally Baldenegro. Citing Gosar’s lack of support for Medicare and health care reform, Skorupski praised Benally Baldenegro for not ignoring the “compassionate conservative” tradition abandoned by “radical” Tea Party activists like Gosar and bringing together Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Raised in the mining town of Kayenta on the Navajo Nation, the Harvard-educated attorney Benally Baldenegro will also be the first female American Indian member of Congress, if elected.

Hailed as one of the state’s rising political stars, the Flagstaff-based Benally Baldenegro has been on a fast track to success in Arizona. As the first Native American to graduate from Arizona State University’s prestigious Barrett Honor’s College, she attended Harvard’s Law School and then earned a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Over the past decade, she has worked in Washington, DC, Portland and Tucson, Arizona, serving as a project specialist at the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), developing tribal self-reliance initiatives and dealing with federal health care legislation and regulations, and as a public interest attorney and expert on business, lending and rural development issues.

Link to original article from AlterNet

Read 9749 times Last modified on Saturday, 21 January 2012 20:48

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