Kirkpatrick lost her Senate bid to Republican incumbent John McCain in the 2016 election.
Kirkpatrick was born and raised on an Apache Indian reservation near McNary, Arizona. Her parents are European Americans who lived and worked on the reservation: her mother was a teacher and her father a general store owner. When Kirkpatrick was in second grade, her family moved off the reservation to Pinetop-Lakeside. Her maternal uncle, William Bourdon, was elected as a member of the State House.
Kirkpatrick graduated from Blue Ridge High School as the valedictorian. In 1972, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, where she majored in Asian studies and learned to speak Mandarin Chinese. After a brief experience as a teacher, Kirkpatrick decided to go to law school. In 1979, she earned a juris doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law.
In 1980, she was elected as Coconino County’s first woman deputy county attorney. Kirkpatrick later served as city attorney for Sedona, Arizona. She was a member of the Flagstaff Water Commission. In 2004, she taught Business Law and Ethics at Coconino Community College."
Kirkpatrick has called for "national, comprehensive reform" of United States immigration policy. She supports increased border patrol funding, installation of a ground-based radar system often referred to as a "smart fence", and a temporary-worker program and path to citizenship that would allow persons living in the United States illegally to earn legal status by learning English, holding a job, and paying a fine.
Kirkpatrick supports the DREAM Act, which would provide conditional permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who were brought as minors to the United States and otherwise meet certain criteria.
Kirkpatrick has stated that she would have voted against Arizona's controversial immigration measure Arizona SB 1070.
In March 2014, Kirkpatrick signed a discharge petition intended to force House leaders to bring immigration reform up for a vote on the House floor.
Ann Kirkpatrick stated on her 2016 Senatorial campaign website that climate change is real. In 2009, as a member of the US House of Representatives, she voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act HR 2454 (Waxman-Markey) saying, “we have to address climate change but also be very sensitive right now to the economic recession". In 2015 she voted in favor of HR 2042, which would have prevented implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
Kirkpatrick voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010. In May 2013, she voted against repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
She supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the stimulus.
Kirkpatrick has proposed seven bills regarding veterans, five of which have passed. Two such bills were H.R. 2879, which closed a loophole for terminally ill service members who want to collect their life insurance, and H.R. 3553, which removed disability payments as consideration of income under means-tested housing assistance.
She sponsored bill H.R. 4720, the Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, to lower the salaries of congressional members. The bill stalled in committee.
Kirkpatrick supports same-sex marriage.
Kirkpatrick characterizes herself as pro-choice. She has been endorsed by EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood and the National Women's Political Caucus. As a member of the Arizona state legislature, Kirkpatrick voted against a bill that would have required notarized parental consent for a minor to receive an abortion. She voted against a bill to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.
Kirkpatrick voted for CISPA, which would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.
In 2004, Kirkpatrick was elected to represent the 1st Legislative District and took office in January 2005. Kirkpatrick was elected to a second term in the state House in 2006. While serving in the legislature, Kirkpatrick served as the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Education K-12 Committee and Natural Resources Committee.2008
On July 24, 2007, Kirkpatrick resigned from the state House to run for the Democratic nomination in Arizona's 1st Congressional District. The seat was due to come open after three-term Republican incumbent Rick Renzi announced that he would not seek re-election in the face of a federal indictment on corruption charges, for which he eventually went to prison. Kirkpatrick won a four-way primary by almost 15 points on September 2, 2008.
Kirkpatrick faced Republican Sydney Ann Hay, a mining industry lobbyist, in the general election, garnering 56 percent of the vote.2010
Kirkpatrick was defeated for reelection in the off-year by Republican nominee Paul Gosar, with 49.7% of the vote versus Kirkpatrick's 43.7%. She was endorsed by The Arizona Republic.2012
Kirkpatrick announced she would run again for her old congressional seat in 2012. Redistricting made the district significantly more Democratic than its predecessor; Democrats now have a nine-point registration advantage. Kirkpatrick was initially priming for a rematch against Gosar, but Gosar opted to run for reelection in the newly created, heavily Republican 4th District. Kirkpatrick narrowly won the general election on November 6, 2012, defeating Republican Jonathan Paton, a former state Senator. Kirkpatrick won the seat with less than 50% of the vote, as a Libertarian Party candidate took more than 6%.2014
Kirkpatrick won re-election to the U.S. House in 2014 with 52.6 of the vote, gaining several points. She faced no opposition in the Democratic primary. According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, Kirkpatrick was one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in 2014. Kirkpatrick is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.
On August 1, 2013, Kirkpatrick introduced the bill To amend title 38, United States Code, to reestablish the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (H.R. 2942; 113th Congress). The bill would reestablish the Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs which had previously ended in 2009. The Committee was involved in making recommendations regarding matching military certifications and equivalent civilian certifications so that veterans can smoothly shift into civilian life.
On March 14, 2014, Kirkpatrick cosponsored the Gulf War Health Research Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4261; 113th Congress), a bill that would alter the relationship between the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses (RAC) and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill would make the RAC an independent organization within the VA, require that a majority of the RAC's members be appointed by Congress instead of the VA, and state that the RAC can release its reports without needing prior approval from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The RAC is responsible for investigating Gulf War syndrome, a chronic multi-symptom disorder affecting returning military veterans and civilian workers of the Gulf War.Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Committee on Veterans' Affairs (2009-2011; 2013–present)
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (Ranking Member)
Committee on Homeland Security (2009-2011)
Committee on Small Business (2009-2011)
On May 26, 2015, Kirkpatrick announced her candidacy for the United States Senate seat in Arizona currently held by Republican John McCain.
Kirkpatrick is married to Roger Curley and has two children.