Oct 24, 2022 - Politics

Arizona's congressional seats up for grabs as GOP looks to make gains

Illustration of the state of Arizona with shifting red and blue districts inside it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Several congressional races are up for grabs as Republicans look to win some Democrat-controlled House seats.

The big picture: Republicans are hoping anti-Democratic sentiment and favorable changes from last year's redistricting process can help them regain the majority in Arizona's U.S. House delegation.

Here's our roundup of the most competitive House races in the state.

1st Congressional District: The district, which includes Scottsdale and parts of north and central Phoenix, is the only competitive district currently held by the GOP. It has a slight Republican edge based on voter performance in past elections.

  • Incumbent Rep. David Schweikert is seeking re-election to a seventh term in the House.
  • He's being challenged by Democrat Jevin Hodge, the 28-year-old president of Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, Arizona's oldest Head Start program.

State of play: Schweikert, a wonky conservative who keeps a fairly low profile these days, is largely viewed as safe. But Hodge is hoping to take advantage of Schweikert's widely publicized ethics issues.

  • Outside Democratic groups haven't been spending money for Hodge, which suggests they don't view the race as winnable.

2nd Congressional District: The sprawling rural district that stretches from the northernmost part of the state into Pinal County is represented by Democratic incumbent Tom O'Halleran, whose competitive district became far more Republican-leaning after redistricting.

  • O'Halleran, a former police officer, has been a moderate Democrat since switching parties to run for Congress in 2016. But the new district is far more conservative than the one he used to represent.
  • Businessman Eli Crane, the founder and CEO of Bottle Breacher, a company that makes bottle openers fashioned from bullets, kicked off his campaign for the Republican primary with a video of him getting a tattoo that reads "We the people." He is a former Navy SEAL.

Between the lines: O'Halleran hasn't gotten much assistance from national Democratic groups, but help is on the way from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

4th Congressional District: Covering Tempe, Ahwatukee and parts of Mesa and Chandler, the district is considered relatively safe for Democrats but just competitive enough that Republicans are hoping to pull off the upset.

  • Democratic incumbent Greg Stanton is seeking re-election to a third term.
  • Kelly Cooper, a Trump-aligned Republican who defeated a more establishment GOP opponent in the primary, is a restaurateur who owns two Melting Pot locations.

The big picture: National Democratic groups have put a lot of money into the district, but Republicans are ramping up their spending as well.

6th Congressional District: Of the four districts that could be considered competitive this year, this Tucson-based seat is the only one that's wide open, thanks to the retirement of Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

  • Republican nominee Juan Ciscomani is a businessman and a former aide to Gov. Doug Ducey.
  • Democrat Kirsten Engel is a UofA law professor and a former member of the legislature.

Zoom out: Though the district looks highly competitive based on the AIRC's metrics, not everyone agrees, and outside Democratic groups are ratcheting down their spending for Engel as the election nears, while GOP groups are still heavily backing Ciscomani.


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