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Arizona - 6th District

Incumbent -- Jeff Flake (R) ; Running for Senate (announced Feb. 14, 2011)

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Rooted in the conservative leanings of an affluent, historically Mormon population, the suburban 6th favors Republican candidates. The district still has a significant population of Mormons, as well as a mix of young couples who commute to Phoenix. The area's warm sunny days have helped draw an established population of retirees from other states.

East of Phoenix, the district takes in all but the westernmost segments of Mesa and Chandler. Adjacent to the two cities is Gilbert, and the district spreads east to take in part of still largely rural Pinal County, including Apache Junction near the county's northern border.

The southeastern Phoenix suburbs experienced decades of population growth that is characteristic of the area, but collapsing real estate markets hurt home prices and local governments still face budget shortfalls. A newly opened public transportation line that connects community colleges and a local airport through Gilbert may alleviate some congestion and spur commercial growth. The retail sector is important to the district's economy, and Wal-Mart is a major employer in the 6th.

Manufacturing aids the economy in Mesa, and the city hosts a large Boeing facility that builds the new A160T Hummingbird unmanned helicopter. Technology manufacturing plays a role here as well: Intel has two locations in Chandler that employ roughly 10,000 people and has plans to upgrade its two facilities in the district. Agriculture, especially alfalfa and dairy operations, once figured strongly in the district's economy but has mostly been replaced due to sprawling development.

Republicans hold a nearly 20-percentage-point edge in party registration here, and the 6th gave John McCain 61 percent of its 2008 presidential vote, his highest percentage in the state.

Major Industry

Manufacturing, technology, retail, construction

Cities

Mesa (pt.), 349,511; Gilbert, 208,453; Chandler (pt.), 171,230; San Tan Valley, 81,321; Apache Junction, 35,840

notable

Chandler's Ostrich Festival, held each March, features ostrich races and a parade.

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