Embattled Schweikert beats back Democratic challenge in Arizona

Embattled Schweikert beats back Democratic challenge in Arizona
© Greg Nash

Embattled Rep. David SchweikertDavid SchweikertLawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection We must address the declining rate of startup business launches Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (R-Ariz.) fended off a challenge from Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, keeping an affluent suburban district northeast of Phoenix in Republican hands.

The Associated Press called the race for Schweikert shortly before noon on Saturday, as counting stretched days beyond Election Day.

First elected to Congress a decade ago, Schweikert, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, had been seen as one of the most vulnerable GOP incumbents this cycle. Cook Political Report had put the race in the “toss up” column, citing Tipirneni’s large fundraising advantage and a two-year House Ethics Committee investigation into Schweikert misusing office funds and violating campaign-finance laws that resulted in a formal House sanction and a $50,000 fine.

But Schweikert, a conservative wonky member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, proved resilient even as Maricopa County and the state of Arizona has been trending more and more blue. The 6th Congressional District, won by Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE by exactly 10 points four years ago, includes wealthy suburbs like Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Cave Creek.

This was not Tipirneni’s first bid for Congress. The Indian-American former emergency-room physician ran in the special and regular elections for the neighboring 8th Congressional District in 2018. She lost both times to Republican Debbie Lesko.