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United States House of Representatives Elections in Arizona, 2012
2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Arizona
The table shows the number and percentage of votes, as well as the number of seats gained and lost, by each political party in the 2012 elections for the United States House of Representatives in Arizona.
United States House of Representatives elections in Arizona, 2012
Due to population gains reflected in the 2010 United States Census, Arizona's congressional delegation increased from eight members to nine in 2012. In accordance with the Arizona Constitution, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission produced new congressional district maps for use in the 2012 and subsequent elections. In October, 2011, the commission released a draft map and by November 5 that year had completed a round of public hearings for input on the draft map. The map became final after being cleared for compliance with the Voting Rights Act by the United States Department of Justice, and established the official district boundaries for the 2012 elections.
On November 1, 2011, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, with the approval of the Arizona Senate, removed Colleen Mathis, the commission's chair, charging Mathis was guilty of "failure to apply the Arizona Constitution's redistricting provisions in an honest, independent and impartial fashion." On November 17, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned Brewer's decision and reinstated Mathis. On November 21, Brewer asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision and to temporarily reverse Mathis' reinstatement. The Supreme Court refused. The map was pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice on April 9, 2012, and was effect for the 2012 elections.
Based upon the new map, the 1st district is slightly friendlier to Democrats than its predecessor. Incumbent RepublicanPaul Gosar, first elected in 2010, ran for election in the more conservative 4th district.
After redistricting, most of 2nd district was composed of land previously located in the 8th district and was thus more favorable to Democrats. Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, who had represented the 8th district since 2007, was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in January 2011 and resigned her congressional seat in January 2012. A special election was held in June 2012 under the boundaries of the then current 8th district, with a primary election held in April 2012; in November 2012 another election took place under the new boundaries of the 2nd district, with a primary scheduled for August 2012.
In the October 2011 redistricting, most of the 7th district became the 3rd district and was more favorable to Democrats. Incumbent Democrat Raúl M. Grijalva, first elected in 2002, said in February 2011 that he had no plans to run for the U.S. Senate.
The new 4th congressional district encompasses most of the rural areas in the old 2nd district, as well as significant portions of the old 1st, 5th, and 6th districts, according to the final maps of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The district is heavily Republican.
In the November 6, 2012, general election, Paul Gosar, who has represented the 1st district since 2011, was the Republican Party nominee. He moved to Prescott in order to run in the district.
With the October 2011 redistricting, most of the 6th district became the 5th district and continued to favor Republicans. Incumbent Republican Jeff Flake, who has represented this district since 2001, sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
After redistricting, the bulk of David Schweikert's 5th district became the 9th district, while his home in Fountain Hills was drawn into the newly created 4th district. However, as soon as the maps were released, Schweikert announced he would run in the 6th district. That district had previously been the 3rd, represented by fellow Republican freshman Ben Quayle. However, in a statement announcing his re-election plans, Schweikert pointed out that he'd grown up in Scottsdale--most of which had been drawn into the 6th as well--had represented it in both the state house and in Congress, and owned a second home there. A revised map, however, placed Schweikert's home in Fountain Hills into the reconfigured 6th.
Quayle, whose home in Phoenix had been drawn into the 9th but was just outside the boundaries of the 6th, opted to seek re-election in the 6th as well. During the bitter primary campaign, Schweikert was widely criticised for a mailer that accused Quayle of "going both ways", suggesting that he was bisexual. On the reverse, the mailer listed issues on which it claimed Quayle had taken both liberal and conservative positions. Senator Jon Kyl said that "such campaign tactics insult the voters, degrade politics and expose those who stoop to them as unworthy of high office" and Senator John McCain said the mailer was one of the "worst that I have seen" and that it "crosses the boundary of decent political dialogue and discourse." Quayle's spokeswoman called the mailer "utterly false" and "a sleazy smear tactic." Schweikert's spokesman responded that people "should get their minds out of the gutter" because the mailer was "obviously" referring to "'both ways' -- as in liberal and conservative." The Arizona Republic asked two political scientists to review the mailer, who both said that they had "never seen anybody accuse someone of flip-flopping [on political issues] that way" and said that it was "difficult to believe" that the sexual suggestion was unintentional.
Although the 6th contained almost two-thirds of Quayle's constituents, Schweikert defeated Quayle in the Republican primary--the real contest in this heavily Republican district--by 53 percent to Quayle's 47 percent.
In accordance with the redrawn boundaries, most of the 4th district became the 7th district and remained the most Democratic district in Arizona. Incumbent Democrat Ed Pastor considered a run for the U.S. Senate but decided against it.
With the new map, most of the Maricopa County portion of the old 2nd district was renumbered as the 8th district and made more favorable to Republicans. Incumbent Republican Trent Franks, who had considered running for the U.S. Senate, instead ran successfully for re-election.
With the new map, most of the old 5th District became the 9th District. It now encompasses portions of southern Phoenix, as well as all of Tempe and parts of Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler and Paradise Valley. It is not considered safe for either party.
Former Democratic state senator Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican nominee Vernon Parker and Libertarian nominee Powell Gammill.
Sinema won the general election on November 6, 2012.