Arizona: Schweikert Casts Doubt on NRCC’s Viability

Posted May 13, 2008 at 7:06pm

A leading Republican running in the 5th district primary and hoping to oust Rep. Harry Mitchell (D) in November delivered a stark assessment of the Republicans’ chances during a GOP candidate forum last week.

Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert bluntly noted that the eventual 5th district GOP nominee probably won’t be able to count on any help from the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to PolitickerAZ.com, a Web site that follows Grand Canyon State politics.

“The NRCC isn’t coming in with a white horse,” Schweikert said. “They’re broke.”

State Rep. Mark Anderson, former state Rep. Laura Knaperek and lobbyist Jim Ogsbury were among the other 5th district Republican candidates who attended the forum.

If Schweikert is right about the NRCC, the Republican nominee will need to raise enough money to compete with Mitchell and fend off attacks that could come from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC closed the first quarter of this year with $44.3 million on hand; the NRCC finished the period with $7.2 million.

Mitchell closed the first quarter with more than $1.1 million in the bank. With $514,000 on hand as of March 31, Schweikert had far more in the bank than any of his Republican opponents in the Sept. 2 primary.

— David M. Drucker