David Schweikert, Josh Barnett, and Elijah Norton are running in the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District on August 2, 2022. Schweikert and Norton have led in fundraising and media attention.
Schweikert is the incumbent in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and is running in the 1st district due to redistricting. According to data from DailyKos, 75% of the redrawn 1st District, which covers parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale, comes from areas represented by Schweikert in the 6th district. U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D), the incumbent in the 1st district, is running in the 2nd district.
Schweikert served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and as Maricopa County’s treasurer from 2004 to 2006 before being elected to represent the 6th district in 2010.
Schweikert has highlighted his record on economic issues, including voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Schweikert’s website says, “As a member of the Ways and Means committee responsible for tax policy, David took the lead in ensuring the historic tax cuts in 2017 became law.” Schweikert has also focused on his opposition to vaccine mandates and President Joe Biden’s (D) immigration policies. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Schweikert.
Norton, a Missouri native, is the founder and owner of Veritas Global Protection Services, a Phoenix-based car insurance company. As of July 2022, Norton had contributed more than 80% of the funds raised by his campaign, according to data from Open Secrets.
Norton has highlighted his business credentials, saying that, as an entrepreneur, he will bring a unique perspective to Congress. Norton also cited immigration as a top issue, saying he supports building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, investing in technology to monitor the border, and “establish[ing] a criminal database sharing system with Mexico.” In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Norton said he intends to serve no more than eight years in Congress and said he would donate his congressional salary to charity.
Norton has focused on allegations Schweikert violated congressional and campaign finance regulations. Norton said, “In 2020, self-described ‘fiscal hero’ David Schweikert was unanimously Reprimanded by every Republican and every Democrat and paid a $50,000 fine after the House Ethics Committee released findings that Schweikert committed 11 ethics violations.” After the FEC fined Schweikert’s campaign committee $125,000 in January 2022, Norton said, “This fine confirms what we already know to be true, David Schweikert has failed to represent his district, and continually brings shame upon Arizona.
Schweikert’s campaign said his former chief of staff is responsible for many of the campaign finance violations cited in the FEC and the House Ethics Committee reports. Chris Baker, an Arizona-based consultant working with the campaign, said, “No one has been more directly harmed by the malfeasance of Rep. Schweikert’s former chief of staff than Friends of David Schweikert.” In a separate interview, Baker said Schweikert has “a lot of support from people who know his record, like what he’s done and like having him as their congressman.”
Three election forecasters rate the general election Lean Republican. According to Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales, the redrawn 1st district is slightly more competitive than the old 6th district. “[The 1st district] got a little more Democratic by the presidential numbers. Trump won the old district by 4 points, but Biden would have won the newly drawn district by a single point,” Gonzales said.