News · Press Release · The Case Against

The Case Against Juan Ciscomani

“As an attorney, a legislator, and a mom, Kirsten Engel has always been on a mission to fight for working families and make sure our children have a chance to build a future and get ahead. Kirsten took on corporate lobbyists as an environmental lawyer, and she took on extreme Republicans when they tried to cut funding for public schools in the Arizona State Legislature – and she has always put her community first. She’s the champion Arizonans need in Congress, and we look forward to working alongside her to keep this district in Democratic hands.” – DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney

To: Interested Parties
From: Monica Robinson, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: August 2, 2022
Subject: The Case Against Juan Ciscomani

As a state legislator, a climate lawyer, an advocate, and a mom, Kirsten Engel has always been on a mission to fight for working families and protect her community. Now, she’s stepping up to serve again as candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.

Kirsten is committed to leaving our world a better place for our kids to grow up and build a prosperous future. As a lawyer, she took on corporate lobbyists and fought to keep our environment clean and protect Americans from toxic chemicals. When Kirsten was a volunteer at her daughter’s public school in Tucson, she saw firsthand the devastating impact of the Arizona Legislature’s failure to fully fund Arizona’s education system. What she saw launched her into action: Kirsten ran to be a state legislator in the Arizona State House, and she won.

As a state legislator Kirsten has taken on some of the toughest battles – from fighting to protect our environment and safeguard clean water, to holding the line against Republican attacks on abortion rights, to investing in Arizona’s public schools and universities. She’s worked with both parties to pass criminal justice reform, and has always stood up to attacks on our voting rights and democracy.

Kirsten Engel is the champion Arizonans need in Congress – and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Running against Kirsten this November is Juan Ciscomani, top political aide to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and the empty suit that Kevin McCarthy bought for the low, low price of $1 million. So far, that investment is paying off: Ciscomani cheered the end of Roe v. Wade and supports making abortion illegal, refused to condemn white nationalism and violent rhetoric from members of the Arizona congressional delegation, and pledged undying fealty to McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy needed a candidate without a backbone who would say or do absolutely anything to climb the political ladder – and he found that in Juan Ciscomani.

The last thing Arizonans need is another rubber stamp for the MAGA Republican Party that wants a national abortion ban while opposing infrastructure upgrades, good-paying jobs, and capping the price of prescription drugs. Voters will elect Kirsten Engel this November.


HEADLINE: 2 GOP congressional candidates oppose DC big spending, but took COVID-19 relief money [Arizona Republic, 6/20/22]

HEADLINE: GOP House candidates criticize federal relief funding they received themselves [American Independent, 7/31/22]

“In the interview, Mr. Ciscomani did not criticize Mr. Gosar or Mr. Biggs, suggesting they were just reflecting the people they represent and steering the conversation back to his experience on issues like trade and immigration.” [New York Times, 6/4/22]

HEADLINE: House GOP spends $1 mil to prop up top recruit ahead of primary for key Arizona seat [Daily Kos Morning Digest, 7/26/22]

“In a little-noticed development with just a week to go before Arizona’s Aug. 2 primaries, the Congressional Leadership Fund has now spent more than $1 million to help its preferred candidate in the GOP primary for the swingy 6th District, Juan Ciscomani. The infusion is notable because Ciscomani, an aide to termed-out Gov. Doug Ducey, had far outspent his only notable foe, former mortgage banker Kathleen Winn, by a huge margin as of July 13, $1.3 million to $262,000.” [Daily Kos Morning Digest, 7/26/22]


When Juan Ciscomani ran for office in 2008, he said his motivation for running was just that he “just wanted to do it” and that since college, he’s wanted to “run for office as soon as I can.” Ciscomani lost that race, but his hunger to be a politician never disappeared – and the moment he had an opportunity to draw himself a district where he could win, he pounced. Ciscomani’s wife, Laura, sat on the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments and selected Republican Dave Mehl as a nominee for the Independent Redistricting Commission. When the Arizona district lines were being redrawn, that nomination paid dividends for the Ciscomanis: Dave Mehl pushed for changes to the Tucson-based congressional district that “could help Juan Ciscomani win the seat.” Mehl did not “dispute the partisan nature” of his proposed map – and months prior, Ciscomani cashed a $5,800 check from Dave Mehl’s son. Arizonans are sick and tired of shady “pay to play” politics, and Ciscomani’s shameless opportunism is sure to raise questions with voters.

In the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Juan Ciscomani would spell disaster for Arizona women. Ciscomani has been uncompromising in his opposition to reproductive rights: He wants to make abortion illegal and cheered the end of Roe v. Wade, calling the Supreme Court’s decision “historic.” As a result of Roe v. Wade being overturned, state officials argue that a draconian abortion ban from 1901 that has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest is now law of the land – and Ciscomani is complicit, refusing to condemn the extreme law. Support for safe, legal abortion has never been higher and Juan Ciscomani is dangerously out of step.

Juan Ciscomani is a rubber stamp for Republican extremism, and his undying loyalty to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should have Arizonans worried about who’s really calling the shots. Ciscomani pledged to support McCarthy if he makes it to Congress – and then McCarthy’s super PAC spent $1 million to get him elected in his primary. When pressed, Ciscomani refused to denounce white nationalist and violent rhetoric from his would-be colleagues in the Arizona congressional delegation, saying that they were just “reflecting the people they represent.” All Juan Ciscomani cares about is his political career – and he’s made a calculation that finding his spine would put that in jeopardy.

Government funding to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic was good enough for Juan Ciscomani – but not good enough for you. Juan Ciscomani “staked out campaign positions that Washington spends too much money,” but took more than $2,000 in a PPP loan for his consulting firm. The Arizona Republic reported that Ciscomani “also sat as a board member for more than 12 years at a nonprofit, Torch of Freedom, that accepted more than $41,000 in PPP money.” Ciscomani’s agenda of “aid for me, but not for thee” is politics at its worst, and Arizonans deserve better.

The path to victory in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District is clear. The new AZ-06 spans the largely suburban eastern half of the city of Tucson, suburbs and exurbs to the north and south in Pima County, and sparsely populated rural areas to the north and east. This new configuration is a diverse, suburban/rural district that has been trending more purple. President Joe Biden and Sen. Mark Kelly both won this district in 2020. Under the new lines, Biden would have received 50.1% of the major-party vote, and Kelly would have received 50.5% in 2020.

Voters in AZ-06 have moved away from Republican candidates up and down the ballot, and a Democrat like Kirsten Engel with the right message can resonate with voters here. Arizonans will support her in November.


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