Monday, August 19, 2013

Better know a district: Arizona's 6th Congressional District

Location: Parts of Maricopa County, mostly southeastern suburbs of Phoenix

Population: 641,329

Median income: $47,976

Ethnicity: 76.6% White
17.2% Hispanic
1.9% Black
1.8% Asian
0.8% Native American
0.1% Other

Presidential election results:
2000: George W. Bush: 61% Al Gore: 37%
2004: George W. Bush: 64% John Kerry: 35%
2008: John McCain: 61% Barack Obama: 38%
2012: Mitt Romney: 60% Barack Obama: 39%

Current Representative: David Schweikert (R) (2013-present)

Rep. Schweikert sits on the House Committee on Small Business and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  He previously represented the 5th district of Arizona where he defeated Harry Mitchell in the 2010 election 52-43%.  When the new maps were drawn for the 2012 election, Schweikert announced he would seek re-election in the 6th Congressional district formerly represented by Ben Quayle and formerly Arizona's 3rd Congessional district.  Schweikert defeated Quayle in the Republican primary and then defeated the Democratic opponent Matt Jette by 28 percentage points. 

Prior to serving in the United States House of Representatives, he served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1991-1995 and served as the Majority Whip while there.  He was appointed the chairman of the State Board of Equalization for Arizona in 1995 where he served until 2003.  He was appointed Chief Deputy of Treasurer of Maricopa County in 2004 and then was elected as Treasurer later in the year.  He resigned in 2007 to run for Congress.  He lost to Harry Mitchell by 10 percentage points in 2008. 

Schweikert is adamanently pro-life, voting to deny any and all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  He also voted yes on the No Taxpayer Money for Abortion Act.  He has opposed any restrictions on firearm ownership securing an 'A' rating from the NRA and the Gun Owners of America.  The NRA endorsed him in 2010.  Rep. Schweikert is a co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 51, which attempts to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.   He believes that we need to secure our borders and opposes amnesty and sanctuary cities.  He also voted to begin drilling on the continental shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  He has also voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. 

Rep. Schweikert opposes any income tax increase on any tax bracket and signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge circulated by uber-lobbyist Grover Norquist.  He believes that our economic prosperity hinges on a balanced budget and we have to take hardline stances against entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

The 6th Congressional District is a fairly conservative district and Schweikert will likely will be able to hold onto this seat unless he follows the lead of other Arizona Congressmembers who self-impose term limits on themselves.  Although, the district itself is fairly new, there has not been a strong Democratic candidate who has ran.  The possibility I see that this district could switch its views would be either to primary Schweikert (based on his fairly conservative views, would be unlikely) or for the constituents in the 6th Congressional district to flip about his views on immigration.  I see this equally unlikely.  But because Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is a member of the Senate Gang of Eight, it is certainly possible. There is also a possibility that Schweikert could potentially run for Senate when John McCain retires.  Based on his conservative views and his strong support from strong interest groups, he could be gearing up for a possible Senate run.

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