Friday, September 14, 2007

Yet another challenger for Harry Mitchell

The long-rumored entry of Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert into the Republican primary race to face Harry Mitchell next year is a little closer to reality.

From the AZ Rep's Plugged In -
Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert has launched an exploratory committee as he considers a run for the 5th Congressional District in 2008.

Sort of.

You see, his Website - - is up and running. But it's clearly a work in progress.

Note: I clicked on the link to the website, but it is unavailable as of this writing.

Brief background:

Elected as Maricopa County Treasurer in 2004 in a race that had at least a bit of controversy and allegations of racism/ethnic insults in his primary contest against Republican businessman Garry Ong.

From the linked article (from -
Political mud started to fly when a mailer sent out for a Schweikert barbecue-fundraiser read “No Tofu Dogs” invited. Ong’s team filed a complaint with the Anti-Defamation League.

At a public meeting, Schweikert told Ong, “It was just for the fun of it,” but he offered no apology.

...He ran for Congress in 1994, losing in the Republican primary to J.D. Hayworth.

...A search of the FEC's databases didn't turn up an current campaign filings, but those aren't necessary until he actually starts a campaign or exploratory committee.

...Further FEC searching found contributions to the AZ Republican Party and to Susan Bitter-Smith's 2000 campaign.

...A search of the AZ Secretary of State's databases show contributions to AZ Right To Life PAC, LD7 Republicans, Sen. Karen Johnson (R-LD18), and 2006 candidate Carl Seel (LD6).

...He's been making the rounds in the non-District 8 LDs, schmoozing up Republican activists in LD21 (scheduled for last night) and LD18 (next week.) Note: He currently lives in Fountain Hills, which is in LD8 and CD5.

...Republican blogger Espresso Pundit, Greg Patterson (Schweikert's former colleague in the AZ lege) has a profile here.

From the profile by Republican blogger Sonoran Alliance -
David, former State Legislator and current County Treasurer, has been running for this seat, in one way or another, since the day he lost to J.D. Hayworth in the primary in 1994. He is smart, ambitious and one of the hardest working people in politics. And his new bride is said to be just as motivated as he is, which is a huge deal in a Congressional race. He likely knows more detail about the district than anyone else, which demonstrates, to some degree, one of his weaknesses – he is a bit geeky, but in a charming way. He is a solid conservative (he actually ran to the right of Hayworth in 1994). Little known factoid: Sen. Karen Johnson was his assistant when he served as the Majority Whip in the state legislature.

General issues: Dems (and the New Times) attack Schweikert for his role in the LD 20 recount and for not releasing the ballots to the Senate. Dems have an universal heart attack when they realize they are taking the same position as Sen. Jack Harper.
Well, that *does* explain the campaign contribution to Johnson.

Yes, I know I keep citing profiles by Republican bloggers, but let's face facts - it's not like we, meaning Democratic bloggers, write many profiles of Republican candidates. :)

Anyway, he seems to be intelligent, hard-working, very conservative, and not afraid to push the limits of decorum during a campaign (the personal insults). While he has low name recognition with average voters (and even some more active ones), he also has low negatives, unlike some of his opponents in the primary.

As of right now, he is probably the strongest candidate in the primary - he's got the connections to raise money, the experience to run an effective campaign, and is conservative enough to appeal to the far-right wing of his party while not scaring off the "Chamber of Commerce" wing with a "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" campaign platform.

Of course, we're nearly a year away from the primary, and there's at least a couple of other folks who are rumored to be interested in the Republican nomination to take on Harry.

Stay tuned...

No comments: