In their second contest, Jim Kolbe (R) defeated freshman Rep. James F. McNulty (D) in Arizona's 5th Congressional District by 18 points.

While McNulty was serving in Washington, Kolbe was working the district, created after the 1980 census to include Tucson and the rural counties north and east of that city, to overcome his handicaps in the 1982 election. The district's rural areas had viewed him as a little too big-city.

A former state senator from Tucson's affluent west side, Kolbe is vice president of a real estate development firm.

Having narrowly won his 1982 primary with the support of liberal and moderate Republicans, this year Kolbe moved to the right and enthusiastically supported the Reagan economic program while telling the voters that McNulty was a liberal who wanted to raise their taxes.

Before casting a vote against the final version of the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration package, McNulty supported a bill to impose sanctions against the employers of illegal aliens. That hurt him with Hispanics, who constitute 17 percent of the district.

Kolbe, 42, takes a special interest in creating enterprise zones, and aides say his committee "wish list" includes Interior and Insular Affairs, Armed Services, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce.

The new congressman is married to Sarah Dinham, a professor of educational psychology and chairman of the faculty at the University of Arizona.

Dinham will be on sabbatical and will join her husband in Washington. They have one son.