David Schweikert

David S. Schweikert (/ˈʃwkərt/; born March 3, 1962) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 6th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Republican Party, he first entered Congress in 2011, representing Arizona's 5th congressional district until redistricting. His district includes most of northern Phoenix as well as Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and Cave Creek.

David Schweikert
David Schweikert official portrait 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byHarry Mitchell (5th district)
Ben Quayle (redistricting, 6th district)
Constituency5th district (2011–2013)
6th district (2013–present)
Treasurer of Maricopa County
In office
2004–2007
Preceded byDoug Todd
Succeeded byHos Hoskins
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 28th district
In office
January 1991 – January 1995
Served with Lisa Graham Keegan
Preceded byHeinz Hink
Jim Skelly
Succeeded byWes Marsh
Carolyn Allen
Personal details
Born (1962-03-03) March 3, 1962 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Joyce Schweikert
(m. 2006)
Children1
EducationScottsdale Community College
Arizona State University, Tempe (BS, MBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Schweikert served two terms in the Arizona State House of Representatives (1991–1994), chaired the state Board of Equalization (1995–2004), and was the elected Maricopa County Treasurer (2004–2007). He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives twice (losing the primary to J. D. Hayworth in 1994 and the general election to incumbent Harry Mitchell in 2008) before winning election in 2010.

Early life and educationEdit

Schweikert was born in Los Angeles, California, to an unwed mother who, according to Schweikert, had considered an abortion but chose instead to put him up for adoption.[1] He grew up in Scottsdale with his adoptive parents and two adoptive siblings. He graduated from Saguaro High School in 1980, then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and real estate in 1985 and an MBA from Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business.[2]

Early careerEdit

Arizona House of Representatives (1991–1995)Edit

Schweikert was elected to the Arizona State House of Representatives for District 28 in 1990 and reelected in 1992.[3][4][5] He represented Fountain Hills and part of Scottsdale. He arrived in the wake of the AzScam scandal, and was a committee chair as a freshman and majority whip in his second term.[6]

Local politics (1995–2007)Edit

Schweikert was appointed chair of the Arizona State Board of Equalization, a full-time job, where he served from 1995 to 2003.[7] As chair, he was responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in valuations and tax protests from Arizona citizens and businesses.[8] There was speculation in 1999 that Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull might appoint him to the Arizona State Corporation Commission.[9]

Schweikert was appointed Chief Deputy Treasurer of Maricopa County in 2004, and elected treasurer the same year. He resigned in 2007 to run for Congress again.[6][10][11]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

1994Edit

Schweikert ran in the September Republican primary in Arizona's 6th congressional district. It resembled the 5th district formed after the 2000 census, but also included most of the northeastern part of the state, including Flagstaff and the Navajo reservation. J.D. Hayworth defeated him, 45%–22%.[12][13] After that defeat, Schweikert took time to reconsider and left for a lengthy vacation, which included travel to Calcutta, the Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam and Serbia.[14]

2008Edit

Schweikert won a six-way Republican primary election on September 2 with 30% of the vote, compared to 27% for his nearest rival, Susan Bitter Smith.[15]

Several organizations endorsed Schweikert in the election, including the primary: Club for Growth, the Arizona Police Association, Arizona Right to Life, and the Arizona Medical Association.[16] He received more than $500,000 from the Club for Growth.[17][18]

Schweikert lost to freshman incumbent Democrat Harry Mitchell, 53%–44%.[19] He later blamed his defeat on the very bitter primary fight that preceded it.[20]

2010Edit

Schweikert sought a rematch with Mitchell in 2010, with Libertarian Nick Coons also running. Schweikert won the Republican primary on August 24 with 37% of the vote. The Club for Growth again endorsed Schweikert after having sat out the competitive primary.[21]

On November 2, Schweikert defeated Mitchell, 52%–43%.

2012Edit

After redistricting, the bulk of Schweikert's former territory became the 9th district,[22] while his home in Fountain Hills was drawn into the newly created 4th district.[23] But 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. In a statement announcing his reelection plans, Schweikert pointed out that he had 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.[24] A revised map, however, placed Schweikert's Fountain Hills home in the reconfigured 6th.[25][26]

Quayle, whose home in Phoenix had been drawn into the 9th but was just outside the boundaries of the 6th, opted to seek reelection in the 6th as well. During the bitter primary, Schweikert was widely criticized 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, who had represented the district from 1987 to 1995, 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; 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.[27][28][29][30]

Although the 6th contained almost two-thirds of Quayle's constituents, Schweikert defeated Quayle in the primary–the real contest in what was then a heavily Republican district–53% to 47%.[31] He was reelected with 62% of the vote.[32]

2014–2020Edit

Schweikert was easily reelected in 2014 and 2016, winning over 60% of the vote each time.

In 2018, Democratic tech executive Anita Malik held him to only 55% of the vote despite spending very little money.[33] Malik won 44%,[34] the first time a Democrat had crossed the 40% mark in what is now the 6th since 1976, when Eldon Rudd won election by only 707 votes in what was then the 4th District[35] (the district was numbered as the 3rd from 2003 to 2013, and has been the 6th since 2013).

In 2020, Schweikert was challenged by Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, who had run in the neighboring 8th district two years earlier. The Cook Political Report rated the race a tossup, partly due to its changing demographics. According to Cook Political Report, the 6th has the most college graduates in Arizona;[33] in recent years, college graduates had become increasingly cool to the GOP.[36] Schweikert prevailed with 52% of the vote.[37]

TenureEdit

116th Congress (2019-2021)Edit

Schweikert joined Representatives Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar in voting against the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. He called it "one of the more difficult votes I've ever had to make." While the bill included some components he helped write, he voted against it due to the limited time to read the bill in its entirety.[38]

117th Congress (2021-2023)Edit

On January 6, 2021, Schweikert was at the U.S. Capitol to certify the 2020 presidential electoral college votes when the Capitol was stormed. He and his staff sheltered in place as the rioters attacked the Capitol.[39] Schweikert did not object to counting Arizona's votes but did object to counting Pennsylvania's. In the wake of the storming of the Capitol, Schweikert voted against the second impeachment of Trump for his role in inciting the attack.[40] In March 2021, he voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.[41]

Committee assignmentsEdit

For the 117th United States Congress, Schweikert serves on the following committees:[42]

The House Republican Steering Committee removed Schweikert from the Committee on Financial Services in late 2012 as part of a larger party leadership-caucus shift.[43][44] He, Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp wrote to Speaker of the House John Boehner demanding to know why they had lost their "plum" committee posts.[45]

Politico quoted a spokesperson for Representative Lynn Westmoreland as explaining that Schweikert, Amash and Huelskamp were removed for "their inability to work with other members." The spokesperson clarified that Westmoreland "said that it had nothing to do with their voting record, a scorecard, or their actions across the street [meaning fundraising]." The three were described by Politico and its sourcing of Huelskamp's other colleagues as "a—holes" who "made life harder for other Republicans by taking whacks at them in public for supporting the team".[46][47]: p.2 [48]

Caucus membershipsEdit

Political positionsEdit

 
Congressman Schweikert speaking at a rally in August 2014.

AbortionEdit

Schweikert opposes legalized abortion.[52] He has attributed his opposition to abortion to his own adoption.[53]

Schweikert supports the Hyde Amendment, a rider to appropriations bills that bars federal funds from being spent on abortions, and supports making it permanent.[54] He opposes funding for Planned Parenthood in any form, and supported legislation to bar the group from participating in any federally funded program.[55][56]

CannabisEdit

Schweikert has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting record on cannabis-related matters. He supports allowing veterans access to medical marijuana, if legal in their state, per their Veterans Health Administration doctor's recommendation, and voted twice in support of this in the Veterans Equal Access Amendment.[57]

Environment and energy policyEdit

Schweikert has shown skepticism of the scientific consensus on climate change.[58]

Foreign policy and defense policyEdit

Schweikert opposes closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[59] He opposed the international agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, calling it "disastrous."[60] In 2015, Schweikert was one of 26 Republicans to vote against a Republican leadership-sponsored defense spending proposal; he took issue with increases to defense spending without corresponding offsets.[61]

Gun policyEdit

In 2015, Schweikert introduced legislation to remove firearm sales and ammunition from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's list of high-risk industries.[62] In 2016, he introduced legislation to remove the District of Columbia's requirement that people seeking concealed carry permits demonstrate a "good reason" to do so.[63][64]

Economic policyEdit

Schweikert is an outspoken opponent of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which imposed new financial regulations after the Great Recession. He opposes the existence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Volcker Rule.[65]

Schweikert supported legislation to kill an Obama administration Department of Labor requirement that established a fiduciary standard for retirement and pension advisers, requiring that such advisers put their clients' financial interests ahead of their own.[66]

Schweikert opposed Obama's budget in 2011, objecting to appropriations to expand the Smithsonian, conduct research, and build high-speed rail.[67]

In 2015, Schweikert was one of 17 Republicans to oppose the Republican budget, arguing that it did not sufficiently address mandatory spending on entitlement programs.[68] He has called for cutting spending on Medicare and Social Security,[69] arguing that "hard choices" must be made.[67]

Schweikert voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[70]

In November 2011, Schweikert wrote a letter to Obama objecting to $70,000 spent by the State Department on books Obama wrote, asking him to return the royalties.[71]

ReprimandEdit

In 2018, the United States House Committee on Ethics launched an investigation into Schweikert and his chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, over misuse of funds.[72] On July 30, 2020, Schweikert admitted to 11 violation counts and agreed to an official reprimand by the House and a $50,000 fine.[73][74] The committee found undisclosed loans and campaign contributions; misuse of campaign contributions for personal use; improper spending by his office; and pressuring staffers to do political work. The House Ethics Committee also faulted him for evasive, misleading and stalling tactics that helped him skirt more serious violations.[75] The report laid out a "surprisingly sizable amount of misconduct over a seven year period." Schweikert said these were inadvertent errors, but the committee reported that "the weight of the evidence" did not support his contention.[76]

IraqEdit

In June 2021, Schweikert was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.[77][78]

Personal lifeEdit

Schweikert and his wife, Joyce, live in Fountain Hills, Arizona.[79] They adopted an infant daughter in 2015.[80]

Electoral historyEdit

Arizona House of Representatives 28th District Election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Lisa Graham 40,925 44.40
Republican David Schweikert 31,175 33.82
Democratic Bill Searle 20,051 21.75
Republican/Write-in Bonnie Francis 30 0.03
Arizona House of Representatives 28th District Election, 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Lisa Graham (inc.) 47,396 59.06
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 32,852 40.94
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican J.D. Hayworth 21,109 45.26
Republican David Schweikert 9,565 20.51
Republican Gary Husk 6,500 13.94
Republican David Smith 5,093 10.92
Republican Ramona Liston 4,376 9.38
Arizona's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert 14,233 29.50
Republican Susan Bitter Smith 13,212 27.38
Republican Laura Knaperek 7,523 15.59
Republican Mark Anderson 6,539 13.55
Republican Jim Ogsbury 6,042 12.52
Republican Lee Gentry 706 1.46
Arizona's 5th Congressional District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harry Mitchell (inc.) 149,033 53.16
Republican David Schweikert 122,165 43.57
Libertarian Warren Severin 9,158 3.27
Write-in Ralph Hughes 9 0.00
Arizona's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert 26,678 37.23
Republican Jim Ward 18,480 25.79
Republican Susan Bitter Smith 17,297 24.14
Republican Chris Salvino 7,156 9.99
Republican Lee Gentry 1,157 1.61
Republican Mark Spinks 884 1.23
Arizona's 5th Congressional District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert 110,374 52.01
Democratic Harry Mitchell (inc.) 91,749 43.24
Libertarian Nick Coons 10,127 4.77
Arizona's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 41,821 51.48
Republican Ben Quayle 39,414 48.52
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 179,706 61.30
Democratic Matt Jette 97,666 33.31
Libertarian Jack Anderson 10,167 3.47
Green Mark Salazar 5,637 1.92
Write-in James Ketover 1 0.00
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 129,578 64.86
Democratic John Williamson 70,198 35.14
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 63,378 80.3
Republican Russ Wittenberg 15,535 19.7
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 201,578 62.1
Democratic John Williamson 122,866 37.9
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 83,406 100.0
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 173,140 55.2
Democratic Anita Malik 140,559 44.8
Arizona's 6th Congressional District Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Schweikert (inc.) 217,783 52.2%
Democrat Hiral Tipirneni 199,644 47.8

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Congressman: I Was Almost an Abortion Victim, Adoption Saved Me". LifeNews.com. January 18, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Congressional Profile: Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)". Congressman David Schweikert. May 29, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Shumway, Jim (November 26, 1990). "State of Arizona Official Canvass – General Election – November 6, 1990" (PDF). Secretary of State of Arizona. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 14, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009. District 28 (Maricopa county) State Representative
    Lisa Graham (R) 20,051
    David Schweikert (R) 40,925
    Bill Searle (D) 20,051
  4. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass – General Election – November 3, 1992" (PDF). Secretary of State of Arizona. November 23, 1992. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 14, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2009. District 28 (Maricopa & Yavapai counties) State Representative
    Lisa Graham (R) 47,936
    David Schweikert (R) 33,285
  5. ^ Benson, Matthew; Pitzl, Mary Jo; Wingett, Yvonne (September 3, 2008). "Arizona primary results yield few surprises". Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Description of the 2nd Presentation on July 25, 2007 by David Schweikert Maricopa County Treasurer" (PDF). PRECISION NEWS: The Newsletter of the Arizona Tooling & Machining Association. Arizona Tooling & Machining Association. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2009. In December 2004, David Schweikert was sworn in as Maricopa County Treasurer. He has a B.S. degree in Finance/Real Estate and [an] MBA from W.P. Carey/Arizona State University. Before becoming Treasurer, David served as Chief Deputy Treasurer. Prior to that, he served as chairman of the Arizona State Board of Equalization. David has worked as an investment analyst and has been involved in the Real Estate industry and property tax issues for 25 years. In 1990, David was elected to represent Northeast Maricopa County in the Arizona House of Representatives. In 1992 he was selected to the position of Majority Whip. Issue 2, 2007
  7. ^ "State Board of Equalization" (PDF). Maricopa County government. June 24, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 16, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2009. ...additional member designated as Chairperson by the Governor who shall serve in a full time capacity.
  8. ^ "AZ Fact Check". Azcentral.com. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Davenport, Paul (June 11, 1999). "Hull anxious to pick West substitute". Lake Havasu City, Arizona: Today's News-Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved April 20, 2009. The fractious Arizona Corporation Commission ... has been mired in controversy thanks to politics and personalities. Now, with Tony West's removal from ttwohe three-member commission, the need to wait for a replacement to be named by Gov. Jane Hull creates new uncertainty ... Names figuring in public speculation about the appointment include ... former state Rep. David Schweikert .... Vol 34, No 116
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  13. ^ "State of Arizona Official Canvass – Primary Election – September 13, 1994" (PDF). Phoenix, Arizona: Secretary of State of Arizona. September 26, 1994. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 14, 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009. Karan English (D) 32,261
    J.D. Hayworth (R) 21,109
    Gary Husk (R) 6,500
    Ramona Liston (R) 4,376
    David Schweikert (R) 9,565
    David Smith (R) 5,093
    Sequoia R. Fuller (L) (write in) 37
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  18. ^ "Club for Growth PAC-Endorsed Candidate Wins in AZ-05". Washington, D.C.: Club for Growth. September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2009. The former Maricopa County Treasurer topped a highly competitive field of six candidates to win the right to face freshman Harry Mitchell in the general election in November. The Club for Growth PAC bundled $337,000 in campaign contributions for Schweikert and spent over $200,000 in independent expenditures on his behalf.
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  71. ^ Cohn, Alicia M. (November 1, 2011). "Rep. Schweikert asks Obama to return book royalties". The Hill. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
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External linksEdit

Arizona House of Representatives
Preceded by
Heinz Hink
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 28th district

1991–1995
Served alongside: Lisa Graham Keegan
Succeeded by
Wes Marsh
Preceded by
Jim Skelly
Succeeded by
Carolyn Allen
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Harry Mitchell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 5th congressional district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Matt Salmon
Preceded by
Jeff Flake
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 6th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steven Palazzo
United States representatives by seniority
149th
Succeeded by
Austin Scott