Monday, February 6, 2012

Quayle, Schweikert Officially in Primary in Arizona

From: National Journal

Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., announced on Monday that he will run for reelection in the new Arizona 6th District instead of the new 9th District, pitting him against fellow GOP freshman Rep. Dave Schweikert in a primary. The move was expected. Quayle's statement:

"The work of Arizona's redistricting commission has placed many people in difficult positions, but at the end of the day my choice is to continue representing the people I represent today. The large majority of them are in District 6, and their values are my values.

"It has been a privilege to get to know my constituents, both as a candidate and as their Congressman. In my initial year in Congress I have focused on maintaining my connection to them. The interactions I've had with them and the relationships we've built have enabled me to be an effective advocate and voice for the community.

"As this primary moves forward I sincerely hope we will see a campaign focused on the critical issues facing Arizona and our country. This should be a substantive race with a tone that honors our party, our nation and the voters of the 6th District."

Schweikert's camp is out with a statement too, in which a spokesperson says "it's unfortunate" that Quayle "decided to abandon his own district to run" in Schweikert's.

That sets up the narrative for the initial skirmish between Quayle and Schweikert along the same lines that Democratic Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell have fought in New Jersey. Most of the district was represented by Rothman under the old district lines, but his home was in another district and he had to "move" to set up the primary.

In the same way, both Quayle and Schweikert are right in laying claim to their seat. Two-thirds of the people in the new 6th District are currently represented by Quayle, but Quayle himself isn't one of them: His house is in the new 9th District. But the 9th is a toss-up seat, while the 6th leans strongly Republican, so it has been expected for months that Quayle would choose to run there.

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