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GOP patriarch Goldwater backs Democrat

PHOENIX -- Former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, patriarch of conservative Republicans, stunned political insiders in his home state Thursday by endorsing a Democrat for the first time ever.

Goldwater gave his backing to state Sen. Karan English for the 6th Congressional District over Republican candidate Doug Wead.

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The prized endorsement was announced by English's campaign after Goldwater called her home and left a message with her son, saying, 'If I lived in your mother's district, I would support her for Congress.'

When English received the message, she called Goldwater back to make sure it was true.

Goldwater accused Wead of being out of touch with Arizona and issues that are important to the state.

English said she now regards herself as a 'Goldwater Democrat' and said she agrees with the former senator on several issues, such as abortion rights and the environment.

Republican Gov. Fife Symington, who has endorsed Wead, said, 'It's that kind of a year. Anything and everything seems to be happening.'

Goldwater, 84, retired from public life in 1986. In 1964, he lost his only bid for the presidency to Lyndon Johnson.

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