Congressional candidate campaigns on two wheels

By David Sowders

SAFFORD — Wendy Rogers came to Safford thoroughly prepared.

For a hot Thursday morning ride – the temperature eventually reached 100 degrees, according to the Arizona Meteorological Network — she dressed in shorts, a short-sleeved blue shirt with a U. S. Air Force logo and a visor as well as wearing sunscreen. Her bicycle was equipped with a water bottle. An iPad mounted on its handlebars mapped her route. The bike also carried saddlebags stuffed with Rogers’ campaign materials.

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Congressional candidate Wendy Rogers stops by a Safford voter’s residence. David Sowders Photo/Eastern Arizona Courier

Rogers, a Republican candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives, was here to address the Graham County Republican Committee. She is running for the 1st Congressional District seat vacated by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. This is Rogers’ third bid for a House seat.

The retired Air Force colonel from Flagstaff, who owns a home inspection company, also came to meet voters in person. Riding her bicycle through a Safford neighborhood, she stopped at Republican households to introduce herself and give voters campaign brochures. Rogers said her goal is to visit 100 houses a day.

“People will tell you things they won’t tell you anywhere else,” she said.

“I’ve been mistaken for a lot of things,” she added. At some homes, she has been taken for a meter maid or a Publisher’s Clearing House representative. “I believe we lack a culture of service in Congress,” she said. “I believe that I have a unique set of talents from 20 years of military service and nearly 20 years as a small business owner. I think those skills are what we need in Congress today.

“The idea (of bicycling) came to me because it’s so efficient. I can go to one house, and then the next house I go to might not be very close because I go to select households. The bicycle just made so much sense, and people love it. They see that I’m working hard and that I come right up to their doorstep.”

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Congressional candidate Wendy Rogers addresses the Graham County Republican Committee. David Sowders Photo/Eastern Arizona Courier

From their doorsteps, Rogers asked voters which of six issues most concerned them. Almost everyone she visited in Safford named national security, with a few naming border control.

“Door-to-door campaigning is my most favorite thing to do because you meet the most interesting people,” Rogers said. “This is America at its best.”

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