ENG: Edward Lopez "Ed" Pastor (born June 28, 1943) has been a member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona since 1991. A member of the Democratic Party, he has represented Arizona's 7th congressional district since 2013. The district, numbered as the 4th District from 2003 to 2013, includes most of southern, western, and downtown Phoenix, along with a portion of Glendale. He previously represented Arizona's 2nd congressional district from 1991 to 2003.
Early life, education, and early career
Pastor was born in Claypool, Arizona, as the oldest of three children. After high school, he was educated at Arizona State University. He became a chemistry teacher at North High School in Phoenix and later went on to work as deputy director of the community service group Guadalupe Organization Inc.
After returning to ASU to earn a law degree, he became an assistant to Arizona Governor Raul Castro. In 1976, Pastor was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and he served three terms in that role as a county executive.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections
In 1991, Pastor entered a special election to succeed 28-year incumbent Democrat Mo Udall in the 2nd District, which then comprised the southwestern part of Arizona including parts of Phoenix and half of Tucson. He narrowly won a four-way Democratic primary, defeating his closest challenger, Tucson mayor Tom Volgy, by 1,800 votes. He then won the special election a month later to become the first Latino to represent Arizona in Congress.
At the time, the 2nd was the only Democratic bastion in Arizona. He easily won a full term in 1992. He was reelected four times without substantive Republican opposition, never dropping below 60% of the vote.
After the 2000 United States Census, Arizona gained two congressional districts. Pastor's former territory was renumbered as the 7th District, but his home in Phoenix was drawn into the newly created 4th District. Rather than move to the Phoenix portion of the reconfigured 7th, Pastor opted to run in the 4th.
The newly created district is heavily Democratic and majority-Latino, like Pastor's old district; Democrats have a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in registration. He easily won in November. He has been reelected six times against nominal Republican opposition. His district was renumbered as the 7th after the 2010 census.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Pastor endorsed former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) for President.
Pastor is one of the nine Chief Deputy Whips for the Democratic Caucus.
Pastor was founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is pro-choice, and in 2006 supported the interests of the Planned Parenthood 100 percent, according to their records. In 2006, NARAL Pro-Choice America-Endorsements endorsed Representative Pastor. He does not support the Iraq War.
Recently, Pastor voted against the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. He has also voted against several bills that would encourage trade between countries such as Panama. Furthermore, he voted to encourage the display of “In God We Trust” in public buildings and schools.
Pastor openly supports a pro-choice stance and is backed by Planned Parenthood as well as NARAL Pro-Choice America.
In 2009-2010, Pastor was backed by the National Farmers Union. However, he was not supported by the National Council of Agricultural Employers.
Pastor supports the rights of animals and opposes hunting. He is supported by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. This fund strives to protect wildlife and wild areas while opposing those who do not.
Around the mid 1990s, Pastor was backed by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund. However, since then, their support has dwindled somewhat.
Pastor has a strong stance on Civil Rights regarding sexual orientation and race. For example, in 2007, he voted to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation and, in 2006, he voted against defining marriage as one man-one woman. Finally, in 2004, he voted against a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. In fact, in 2002, the ACLU rated Pastor at 93% for a pro-civil rights voting record.
Pastor serves on the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Housing Services of America. He is also an Honorary Director to Timber Trails Children's Project, Inc.
February 5, 2013