Arizona: MCCAIN V. KIRKPATRICK
Senator John McCain (R)
Background: Member of U.S. Senate since 1987
Having been in the Senate for almost three decades, McCain has a fairly comprehensive record on startup and technology issues. McCain has been on the side of the startup community in some instances, supporting key bills like the JOBS Act (extra credit point!), advocating for expanded broadband access, and supporting efforts to auction inefficiently-used spectrum for commercial use. He also co-sponsored the I-Squared Act, which would raise the cap on H-1B visas to accommodate more talented, high-skilled foreign workers. However, on most of the top issues for startups in recent years, McCain’s record isn’t great. He opposes net neutrality, voted no on the USA Freedom Act, co-sponsored PIPA, opposed the America Invents Act, and has supported legislative efforts that would ban end-to-end encryption and require companies to build backdoors into their products.
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D)
Background: Member of U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 - 2011, since 2013
As a member of the House, Kirkpatrick has supported a number of pro-startup issues, voting in favor of the USA Freedom Act and the Innovation Act, and supporting improved STEM education and comprehensive immigration reform. On net neutrality, Kirkpatrick opposed the No Rate Regulation Act (which would block the FCC from enforcing net neutrality). However, in 2010, Kirkpatrick signed a letter alongside 73 other Democrats asking the FCC to abandon its net neutrality efforts, making her position on the issue somewhat unclear. Additionally, her relatively short time in office makes it difficult to surmise her positions on copyright policy, encryption issues, and a number of other key technology issues.