Arizona voters return 7 of 9 US House members to Congress
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters returned seven U.S. House incumbents to office by wide margins on Tuesday, but the state's other two congressional races were too early to call with not enough votes counted.
Those winning reelection included three incumbents who represent heavily Republican districts and four Democrats, who also had a registration edge in their districts.
Republicans Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko and Paul Gosar won new two-year terms. Democrats winning reelection included Ann Kirkpatrick, Greg Stanton, Raul Grijalva and Ruben Gallego.
Democrats' hopes of knocking off a GOP incumbent for the first time in decade remained alive late Tuesday as vote counts continued.
The Democrats put forward a polished candidate to take on Republican Rep. David Schweikert. Dr. Hiral Tipirneni held a lead in early vote counts.
She had a big fundraising edge against the wounded GOP incumbent with a slimmer-than-normal campaign account in the 6th District. It's a suburban district that takes in much of north Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Fountain Hills.
While Arizona has been shifting from solid red to purple, Schweikert seemed especially vulnerable after he admitted to a series of ethics violations in July and earned a rare unanimous reprimand from his House colleagues.
"People understand that they deserve somebody better than what they have," Tipirneni said ahead of the election.
Schweikert wasn't overly worried before Election Day.
"It may be closer than we'd like but everything looks like we'll be fine," Schweikert said.
Arizona's 6th District was once solidly red, but the Cook Political Report, which rates congressional districts by competitiveness, has moved it from leans Republican to a toss-up.
Schweikert easily won his past four elections — by 25 percentage points in all but 2018, when he beat another Democrat by 10 points.
The other outstanding race Tuesday night was in the 1st District, where Republican Tiffany Shedd was trailing incumbent Democrat Tom O'Halleran.
O'Halleran represents the sprawling 1st District that runs from Flagstaff east to the Navajo Nation and then south to take in parts of the suburbs north of Tucson. That race is the only Democratic seat Cook Political Report rated as lean rather than likely Democratic.
Kirkpatrick defeated Republican Brandon Martin. She represents the 2nd District, which includes parts of Tucson and southeastern Arizona.
Stanton defeated Republican Dave Giles, an engineer and former oil executive in the 9th District. The district covers east Phoenix and the Ahwatukee neighborhood, along with Tempe and parts of Chandler and Mesa.
Incumbent Democrats in two of the five districts the Democratic party holds also easily beat their rivals. They are Rep. Raul Grijalva in southwest Arizona's 3rd District and Rep. Ruben Gallego in the 7th District, which covers much of south Phoenix.
All nine members of Arizona's U.S. House delegation were up for reelection and most were virtually assured of returning to Washington for two more years.
Democrats currently occupy five of the nine seats.
The party makeup of Arizona's congressional delegation has been remarkably stable for the past decade, with only the 2nd District flipping between Republican and Democratic control since the addition of the 9th district after the 2010 census
Find AP's full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.