Axios Phoenix

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It's Wednesday! Let's get over the hump together.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 79.

Situational awareness: Don't forget to join our Axios Phoenix group on ESPN.com and enter a March Madness bracket for the men's or women's side by 9am tomorrow.

  • The password to enter the group is "Axios."

This newsletter is 918 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Biden to announce $20 billion for Intel expansion

President Biden and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger at a groundbreaking in Ohio in 2022. Photo: Gaelen Morse/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In Chandler today, President Biden will announce nearly $20 billion in grants and loans for Intel to expand its semiconductor production.

Why it matters: The Biden administration claims the investment will lead to 10,000 new Arizona jobs, further cementing metro Phoenix as one of the nation's epicenters for chips manufacturing.

The big picture: This is the latest in a string of major public and private chips investments in Arizona.

  • Since January 2020, Arizona has attracted more than 35 semiconductor company expansions, representing more than 13,000 jobs and $65 billion in investment, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Driving the news: Biden will announce $8.5 billion in grants for Intel — the largest award from the $52 billion in the CHIPS and Science Act that he signed into law in 2022.

  • The company is also eligible for up to $11 billion in loans from the Commerce Department.

Zoom in: Those awards, along with a separate tax credit from the Treasury Department, will trigger an estimated $100 billion in private investment from Intel across the country.

  • In total, the administration expects Intel to use the federal money to help build or expand facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon for a total of 30,000 new jobs.

What they're saying: Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called it a "defining moment" for "the next great chapter of American semiconductor manufacturing innovation."

The intrigue: Biden is heading into the 2024 election with a massive cash advantage over former President Trump — and billions of dollars in federal funds to announce in crucial swing states like ours.

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Editor's note: The headline on this story has been corrected to reflect that Biden announced grants for Intel's expansion. (He did not announce the expansion.)

2. Biden and Trump cruise in Arizona primary

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chris Carlson, Win McNamee/Getty Images

More than 20% of Republicans cast ballots against Donald Trump in Arizona's presidential primary while President Biden took nearly 90% of the Democratic votes as the two presumptive nominees cruised to easy victories.

Why it matters: Any sign of discontent among primary voters is worrisome for either campaign in a swing state that Biden won by just 10,457 votes in 2020.

Driving the news: Donald Trump secured 78% of the Republican ballots tabulated as of this morning.

  • Nikki Haley, who suspended her campaign halfway through early voting, won about 19%.

The other side: Critics of Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war asked voters to cast their ballots for Marianne Williamson as a protest. She got 3.5% of the Democratic vote.

Flashback: In 2020, Biden was the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years.

Between the lines: Even though Biden and Trump both had their nominations locked up before the election, Axios saw a steady stream of voters yesterday at Phoenix's Madison Baptist Church.

  • "It's important to show your support for Trump, no matter what," Phoenix resident Bente Hewitt told us.
  • Phoenix resident Jason Scott said he viewed voting as a patriotic duty, even if the result in the Republican primary was a foregone conclusion.
Source: The Associated Press

What we're watching: Biden launched his Latino outreach campaign yesterday, visiting Las Vegas and Phoenix.

  • "You were a large part of why we beat Donald Trump. … I desperately need your help," Biden told supporters at El Portal, a Phoenix Mexican restaurant owned by longtime Democratic politicos Earl and Mary Rose Wilcox.
  • He criticized Trump for his past comments about Latinos and immigrants, saying, "In 2016, he called Latinos criminals … and rapists. … What the hell is he talking about?"

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3. State lawmaker announces she'll seek abortion

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Democratic Arizona Sen. Eva Burch plans to get an abortion after learning her pregnancy "is not progressing and is not viable," she told her colleagues in the state Senate Monday.

Why it matters: As Arizona voters may in November face a ballot initiative to expand abortion access, Burch — a nurse practitioner from Mesa — said she wanted to illustrate how health care policies impact families.

Between the lines: Burch told her colleagues that even though her fetus has no chance of survival, she was forced to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, wait at least 24 hours before the abortion and listen to her provider explain adoption and foster care options, the Arizona Mirror reported.

  • Those policies are mandated by state law.
  • She called them "a cruel and uninformed attempt by outside forces to shame and coerce and frighten me into making a different decision other than the one I knew was right for me."

State of play: Abortions in Arizona are allowed only up to 15 weeks of pregnancy following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

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4. Chips & salsa: Hodge resigns from House

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Democratic state Rep. Jevin Hodge, who was appointed to fill a House vacancy less than two months ago, resigned yesterday.

  • The news came following revelations Monday that George Washington University found him in violation of school sexual misconduct policies while he was a student in 2015. (12 News)

🏀 Bobby Hurley signed a two-year extension as ASU's men's basketball coach after a yearlong delay. (State Press)

🏘 Buckeye gave preliminary approval to plans for 2,000 new houses in a development called North Star Ranch. (AZcentral)

🍻 Carly's Bistro is closing after nearly two decades in business on Roosevelt Row. (Phoenix New Times)

5. 📸 Pic du jour: Model trains roll into Mesa

Photo: Jessica Boehm/Axios

All aboard! The Grand Canyon State Model Railroaders has brought its HO scale track, trains and model town to the Red Mountain Library in Mesa.

  • The railroaders have deployed more than 750 square feet of track.

Check out the display today and tomorrow 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-4:430pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

  • Model train operators will be available to answer questions and demonstrate how they constructed the town.

✡️ Jeremy needs some gragers for Purim. Does anyone know where he can buy some, preferably in or near central Phoenix?

🕳️ Jessica is so far down the royal family conspiracy theory rabbit hole it's scary.

This newsletter was edited by Emma Hurt and copy edited by Jay Bennett.

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