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Residence: Tucson, AZ
Gabriela Saucedo Mercer was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1986. She became a U.S. citizen in 1991. She received an associate degree from Cochise College.
She worked for a defense electronics firm in Tucson, before putting her career on hold to raise a family.
Mercer and her husband, Ted, have three children.
Gabriela Saucedo Mercer won the Republican nomination to challenge five-term Rep. Raul Grijalva in Arizona's 3rd Congressional District in November 2012. She is a tea party favorite who is making her first foray into politics.
Mercer said her Democratic opponent has consistently voted against the interests of businesses and families in the sprawling district that borders Mexico in southwestern Arizona and includes the western half of Tucson, parts of Yuma and portions of several western suburbs of Phoenix. The district became even more solidly Democratic after the boundaries were redrawn from the former 7th Congressional District.
The district is viewed as strongly Democratic, and a Republican win is considered unlikely.
"I'm just a concerned citizen, I haven't been involved politically and I haven't held any offices," Mercer said in September 2012. "I just got involved about two years ago and I don't like the direction that our country is going into.
"One of the reasons that I am running for Congress against Grijalva is because he's anti-jobs and his policies are hurting the families in this district. I would like to be an ambassador to represent the people."
Grijalva has slammed Mercer for saying that all immigrants from Middle Eastern nations plan to harm the U.S. She said in an interview with an online news site in 2011 that harming the U.S. is the "only goal in life" for Middle-Eastern immigrants, so "why do we want them here, legally or illegally."
Mercer, immigrated to the United States from Mexico, defended herself in September 2012. She said her remarks were meant to refer only to terrorists. "I am not against Muslims," she said. "I am against radical Islamic terrorists. Their only goal in life is to come to this country and cause us harm."
Source: Associated Press
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