Schweikert Wins Arizona Primary

Posted September 3, 2008 at 8:39am

Former Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert held off government relations executive Susan Bitter Smith by less than 2 points on Tuesday to capture the Republican nomination in Arizona’s 5th district.

With all precincts reporting according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s unofficial results, Schweikert topped Bitter Smith 29.9 percent to 28 percent. The four other candidates running in the primary finished well out of contention.

Schweikert now moves on to face freshman Rep. Harry Mitchell (D) in the general election. The Phoenix-area 5th district leans Republican, but Mitchell is a long-time elected official from the region who is well-liked by voters of all stripes.

Still, the GOP’s registration edge and the fact that Mitchell is serving in only his first term has buoyed Republicans, who believe the Congressman’s House voting record on key issues has made him politically vulnerable.

Schweikert last ran for Congress in 1994 when he lost in a GOP primary to local television news sportscaster J.D. Hayworth, who served in Congress until 2006, when he was ousted by Mitchell.