Despite hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be tabulated, poll watchers had seen enough to predict two new Republican U.S. House members, but another GOP incumbent is on the ropes.
On Friday morning, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran conceded to challenger Eli Crane for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. The three-term Democrat faced a tough reelection bid after being shuffled into a new district that favored Republicans.
U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-1) introduced the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act of 2022 on Thursday.
In a bipartisan move, Harshbarger teamed up with U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1) to introduce H.R. 8508, which is described in a statement as “bipartisan legislation that improves Medicare reimbursements and enhances the current structure of the Medicare-funded graduate medical education (GME) program to bring more medical residents and doctors to rural areas.”
Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), who is facing an uphill battle to re-election in a newly-drawn congressional district, received a funding boost from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
According to financial disclosures from the Federal Election Commission, Pelosi’s superPAC, PAC to the Future, sent O’Halleran a check for $5,000.
As Democrat incumbent U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran continues to look vulnerable, Republicans are lining up to challenge him in the GOP primary for Arizona’s Second Congressional district.
The Arizona Sun Times previously reported that O’Halleran is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrat incumbents in the country and at least five candidates have declared against him.
The Arizona redistricting process has made Democrat U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran even more vulnerable to a Republican challenger.
Prior to redistricting, Representative O’Halleran’s then-AZ-1 had a partisan rating of R+6 according to the website FiveThirtyEight. After redistricting changed boundaries and district numbers, O’Halleran is running in AZ-2, which is now rated a R+15.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has mostly finalized its 10-year maps redrawing congressional and legislative districts in the state, and the results appear mixed for Republicans. While they appear to shift more districts in favor of Republicans, the advantage in some of those districts is so slim that in future years when the country’s mood shifts back against Republicans, several of those districts will be easier for the Democrats to capture, making it possible for the Democrats to take back the Arizona Legislature.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-Ariz.), whose district will become the most competitive after the redistricting, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The results are a mixed bag. While superficially it looks better for the GOP, in five of the districts there is such a small Republican advantage that we stand a good chance of losing all five of those seats to the Democrats in 2026 — and if we don’t take the White House back in 2024, we could lose them as soon as that year.”
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has been working on the maps updating where Arizona’s congressional districts are drawn to reflect changing demographics, something which takes place once every 10 years. They approved draft maps this week, which makes more congressional districts competitive, but it’s tough to predict how those races could go due to demographics changing in the future — zoning rules can easily tip a district. The legislative districts are also being redrawn, and while they make Republican seats safer, they also create two swing seats that could allow the Democrats to take control of the legislature.
Under the congressional plan, four of the nine districts would be considered competitive, with two of them genuine toss-ups. The other districts would be three safe Republican seats and two safe Democrat seats. The two highly competitive districts include the newly labeled CD6, which contains much of southern Arizona south of Phoenix. A significant portion of that district is currently represented by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is retiring. Its Democratic advantage will be just 1.9 percent. The other one is the newly labeled CD1, which includes Scottsdale and much of Phoenix. It is currently represented by Republican David Schweikert and Democrat Greg Stanton. Its Democratic advantage will be just 1.6 percent.
Now that a 10-year ban on Congressional earmarks has ended, all seven Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation are requesting them. None of the four Republican members are. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) wants to beautify light poles and several of the members want to expand public transit. Many of them are getting their requests approved as part of the $2.1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is expected to pass into law soon.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) told The Arizona Sun Times Friday that the earmarks aren’t necessary, since they are for the types of projects local and state governments generally cover.
Rep. Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) is running for Congress in Arizona’s first Congressional district. The seat, which encompasses much of the northeast part of the state, is currently held by Tom O’Halleran, a former Republican turned moderate Democrat.
“We need to get back to the rule of law of Arizona to protect its people,” the Arizona legislator said in a video discussing his run on July 18.