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The 2020 election may be almost two years away, but that isn’t stopping candidates from declaring their intentions to run for office.

Most recently, former Flagstaff city councilmember Eva Putzova announced that she plans to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

Putzova filed paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission stating she plans to run to represent Congressional District 1 on the Democratic ticket.

“It’s been something I’ve been considering for a long time,” said Putzova, who just completed her four-year term on city council.

The seat in Congress representing CD1 is currently held by Democratic Congressman Tom O’Halleran, who won his second term during the last election and was in Flagstaff just last week for a town hall.

Cody Uhing, a spokesperson for O’Halleran, could not speak to whether or not the congressman would be seeking a third term, but said O’Halleran is not currently focusing on the next election.

"There will be plenty of time to discuss the 2020 election, but right now Congressman O'Halleran is focused on the issues impacting Arizona families today,” Uhing said via email.

Putzova said she has not spoken to O’Halleran about her decision to run, but was also quick to say that she does not see her campaign as a challenge to O’Halleran.

Instead, Putzova said her decision to run is simply a way to provide good representation for residents of CD 1.

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“This is not about any other candidates, it’s not even about me,” Putzova said. Rather, Putzova said that her decision was about the voters.

Putzova said in running for Congress, she wants to be an advocate in Washington D.C. for progress on issues including universal health care, free college tuition, comprehensive immigration overhaul and “real and meaningful climate action,” including a green new deal.

“I think it’s important that we are talking about the issues that are top of mind for [everyday people in Arizona and across the nation],” Putzova said.

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Putzova added she hopes to be able to work for the interests of indigenous peoples, for women’s reproductive rights and the rights of workers.

A record number of women won congressional seats, many on the Democratic ticket, during the last mid-term elections, and Putzova said this was one factor she found encouraging when making the decision.

Putzova was born in Slovakia, first coming to the U.S. when she was 21 years old, and has lived in Flagstaff since 2000, according to the Putzova campaign.

She was elected to the city council in 2014 before launching a campaign to raise Flagstaff’s minimum wage, which voters approved in 2016. Most recently, she successfully led a campaign to uphold the minimum wage law after it was challenged by a ballot measure during the last election.

Currently, Putzova works as the national communications director for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a nonprofit organization that advocates for better working conditions and higher wages for restaurant workers.

Previously, she worked for Northern Arizona University.

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Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at askabelund@azdailysun.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.

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