Birthdate: June 28, 1943
Birth Place: Claypool, AZ, United States
Residence: Phoenix, AZ
First Elected: 1991
District: District 7
Ed Pastor was born in Claypool, Ariz., and resides in Phoenix. He earned a bachelor's degree and a law degree from Arizona State University.
Pastor is a former chemistry teacher who served on the staff of former Gov. Raul Castro. He was the deputy director of Guadalupe Organization Inc. and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from 1977 to 1991.
Pastor was first elected to the U.S. House in a special election in 1991 to fill the 2nd District seat vacated by Morris K. Udall, who resigned.
He was elected to his first full term in 1992. Pastor is the first elected Hispanic congressman in Arizona.
Pastor and his wife, Verma, have two grown daughters.
Ed Pastor is seeking re-election in his redrawn south Phoenix district, running for his 12th full term in Congress. Redistricting after the 2010 census turned his old 4th District into the 7th District.
In the November 2012 general election Pastor faces a little-known Republican candidate who won only 1,115 votes as a write-in candidate in the August primary. With the district heavily Democratic, Pastor is considered a sure bet for re-election.
Pastor focuses his legislative interests on jobs, stability in the economy and education.
He voted for voted for health care reform in 2010 and supported the 2009 stimulus package. As many Republicans cracked down on spending during the recession in 2008 and 2009, Pastor was not shy about requesting earmarks for pet projects in his district. However, as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he had unique access to earmark funds.
Pastor took credit in February 2009 for making sure the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which combined nine annual appropriations bills left over from the previous year, allotted for $91.8 million for the light rail system in metropolitan Phoenix. Pastor had been a proponent of the rail system since the beginning of its construction in 2004.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Pastor endorsed Hillary Clinton over then-Sen. Barack Obama, saying in a statement that Clinton has the "leadership, experience and ability" that Arizonans need.
Aside from development projects, Pastor is known for giving advice to constituents and even potential constituents. Pastor goes beyond registered voters and has made a continuous effort to reach out to his district's Mexican immigrants. According to the Arizona Republic, Pastor has since July 2003 conducted workshops to help immigrants fill out citizenship applications. Mexican migrants are behind most other major immigrant groups in terms of naturalization rates.
"My experience over the years is that if you make it convenient, people will come," Pastor said in a 2005 interview with the Arizona Republic.
Pastor was elected chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 1994. He is the first Hispanic elected to Congress from Arizona.
He attempted in 2002 to introduce a measure that would make tribal membership cards the equivalent of U.S. passports, allowing members to cross the border freely.
Pastor tried in July 2005 to intervene in the case of the so-called "Wilson Four." The Arizona residents, who entered the U.S. as toddlers illegally, faced deportation when authorities detained them during a 2002 high school field trip to Canada. He introduced a measure in Congress that would have waived their deportation requirements but the bill failed to gain any momentum.
Pastor is a top Hispanic congressman in the House Democratic ranks who is fairly secure in his seat, partly due to his appeal in a district where Hispanics make up at least 50 percent of the constituents.
Source: Associated Press