R-Ariz. -- what does this shorthand stand for?


Example with a context:

Another hated ‘pindos’ is Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), famous in Russia for his periodic tweets to ‘Dear Vlad.’ In 2011, for example, Mr. McCain tweeted Putin, “Dear Vlad, The #ArabSpring is coming to a neighborhood near you.”

I can't really figure that one out, though something tells me that this might stand for something like representative of Arizona. Am I on the right track with my assumption?

Michael Rybkin

Posted 2014-12-30T14:21:12.703

Reputation: 37 124

Question was closed 2014-12-30T23:25:59.460



It means "Republican from Arizona"

It's just shorthand.

Other uses would be like (D-Cal.) , which is "Democrat from California" Or (I-Vt.), which is "Independent from Vermont"

This shorthand is usually just applied for politicians. You wouldn't likely see shorthand like this for a regular citizen/voter.

Another way it could have been written is like this:

Another hated 'expletive' is the Republican senator John McCain from Arizona, ...


Posted 2014-12-30T14:21:12.703

Reputation: 1 615

3I thought (I-Vt) was shorthand for Bernie Sanders ;) – diego – 2014-12-30T16:52:18.177

Another thing to note: in the United States, you will never see this shorthand with any letters except for "D" for "Democrat", "R" for "Republican", or "I" for "Independent", because there are no other major parties, and all the minor parties are grouped together under "Independent". – senshin – 2014-12-30T19:07:37.093

4It doesn't mean just any "Republican from Arizona", it means "Republican representative for Arizona" (either 1 of the 2 Senators, or one of Arizona's (currently 9) Congressional districts. – smci – 2014-12-30T19:22:01.517

3@smci True, except it need not be a federal representative. The notation is also used for state reps. Like a newspaper might print "Fred Smith (D-Albany)" if Mr Smith is the representative to the state legislature from Albany and he is a Democrat. Not as common though. – Jay – 2014-12-31T01:45:24.917


As Sompuperoo said, it's an abbreviation that gives the political party and state of the congressperson. It's very common to use the two-letter abbreviation for the state, as in R-TX (Republican from Texas) or D-NY (Democrat from New York). This kind of abbreviation is normally only used after a person's name. You wouldn't say something like "He's D-FL" unless you were playing with words.

On political blogs you'll often see a similar abbreviation used to refer to numbered congressional districts within a state, such as TX-18 (the eighteenth district of Texas) or NY-04 (the fourth district of New York).

I've only seen this sort of abbreviation used in U.S. politics. As far as I can tell from a quick Googling, the UK, Australia, and Canada prefer to spell out where their MPs are from and what party they belong to. (Commonwealthers, please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Adam Haun

Posted 2014-12-30T14:21:12.703

Reputation: 3 023

1You may well see abbreviations for the parties in the UK ("Con", "Lab", "Lib Dem", etc), but not for the constituencies (because people can't remember ~650 abbreviations). – Philip Kendall – 2014-12-30T19:23:03.800

@Philip Kendall: true, also because there isn't a federal system and not really any (state/)county government, so the county wouldn't matter much e.g. "Yorks-17". – smci – 2014-12-30T19:28:06.817

@smci - the constituencies in the UK are not numbered; they each have a name that reflects the geography.Example "Alan Beith (Liberal Democrat) - Berwick-upon-Tweed". See http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ for a full list.

– Floris – 2014-12-30T22:07:49.663