2022 Shellacking: Part 2: Arizona

2022 Shellacking: Part 2: Arizona

We covered the cause and purpose of this series in the previous part:

Basically, we’re looking at each state and checking who is running and who is expected to win in each. This breakdown will hopefully give an insight into where and why Democrats are in for a bad time this year, and what they could have done about it, and why we as the people of the USA should care.

So far, we’ve found a 2 representative deficit for Democrats, but no potential for flipping seats yet. 2 Republican seats aren’t contested, compared to 0 Democrat seats.

Let’s look at Arizona and see if the numbers change.

District 1:

This district has changed drastically in 2020. Before, it encompassed most of the north east of the state. Now it encompasses a tiny area northeast of Phoenix. Effectively, this has turned it from a relatively blue district into a solidly red one.

The primaries are expected in August, and Republican David Schweikert is attempting to hold his seat. He is a Freedom Caucus Republican who voted to overturn the 2020 election results (in Pennsylvania, not Arizona) but did not otherwise join in on the Big Lie. He is 100% against abortion and against any regulation on gun ownership. He is skeptical of climate science and votes against financial regulations. He was also found to have “undisclosed loans and campaign contributions; misuse of campaign contributions for personal use; improper spending by his office; and pressuring staffers to do political work,” something he received a reprimand and $50,000 fine for.

The two Republicans running against him are Elijah Norton (a business owner who pushes all the usual Republican policies but not the full Trump cultist lines) and Josh Barnett (a Big Lie promoting Trump cultist and hydroxychloroquine pill pusher). On the Democrat side, Jevin Hodge (pushing education support, voter protections and income equality) and Adam Metzendorf (Sports manager of the Suns, pushing education, doing charity with the Suns, pushing for economic opportunity, coming up with pandemic policy for the Suns, attacking Schweikert for his corruption, and did he mention that he worked with the Suns?).

The district will probably go to the Republicans, and most likely to the incumbent.

District 2:

District 2 has also changed drastically. What used to be a small southeastern section next to Tucson, it now very much resembles the previous 1st district, combined with some more red regions, diluting the blue north.

The seat is held by Tom O’Halleran, an ex-Republican turned Democrat who legislates as a Blue Dog moderate. He left the Republican party in 2015 citing its policies on education, water, and child welfare. He pushed to have Trump removed via the 25th amendment and later impeachment. He’s also won his races with a plurality every time.

He’s up against a wide open primary of Republicans. The most prominent is Walter Blackman, a veteran currently serving as US rep for the 6th district. Primarily focused on criminal justice reform, he is otherwise all over the place, supporting legislation helping minorities but calling BLM a terrorist organization, and supporting the Big Lie and overturning the election while also being attacked for not actually overturning the election. He is 100% against abortion in all cases.

Challenging him for the primary are Eli Crane (Ex Navy Seal pushing for zero regulations for COVID, spreading the Big Lie and being anti-abortion and for school censorship), Mark DeLuzio (typical right-to-far-right stances on all issues (*note, it’s nearly impossible to differentiate between regular republican and far right extremist as they all use the same texts on their sites*)), Steven Krystofiak (farmer focused on financial reform), John W. Moore (Mayor of Williams who clearly doesn’t understand a president’s role in gas prices and who thinks we agree on more than we disagree on (*true, but those are not his stances on the issues*)), Andy Yates (Reagan Conservative) and Ron Watkins (batshit conspiracy nut).

District 2 is a competitive one, so it is unclear who will win here, but it’s still likely O’Halleran if an extremist wins the GOP primary.

District 3:

District 3 used to be a large blue swatch along the southern border. Now it is the core of Phoenix.

This district has a much simpler race. Democrat Ruben Gallego represents the current 7th district. A U.S. Marine combat veteran and progressive, Gallego hasn’t gotten below 70% of the vote in any race he’s run.

Opposing him is Jeff Zink, a perpetuator of the Big Lie who was at the Capitol attack on January 6th and who’s son was caught by the FBI inside the Capitol. Zink is theocratically focused, with also notes towards the Infrastructure improvements.

This district will likely stay Democrat, as Zink is not a credible enough opponent to overcome Gallego’s record.

District 4:

This district used to take up the Western part of the state. It now encompasses a tiny part of southeast Phoenix.

The incumbent is a Democrat, Greg Stanton, who used to represent the 9th district. Stanton focuses on city politics, and pushes for the Equality Act.

Opposing him are Dave Giles (literal theocrat with multiple theology degrees who has run often before, focuses on America First agenda and security), Kelly Cooper (Big Lie promoter who wants the federal government completely out of education), Jerone Davison (Theocrat pushing the Big Lie who thinks a wall will stop illegal immigration), Rene Lopez (Typical right wing on most issues, far right on guns and immigration), and Tanya Wheeless (Classic right wing Republican).

None of the opponents appear to have a leg up on Stanton, so this is likely going to remain Democrat.

District 5:

District 5 didn’t move much, except to shift Mesa to D4 and include Apache Junction in D5. It is solidly Republican.

Currently it is held by Andy Biggs, a Freedom Caucus chair who was one of two people to vote against COVID relief funds because money would go to domestic partners. He’s a perpetuator of the Big Lie, signing on to a frivolous lawsuit trying to remove the right of other states to certify their results, and continues to this day to deny the results of the 2020 elections. He is considered one of the organizers of the attack on the Capitol on Jan 6th. His brothers seek to remove him from office. He’s anti-science, anti any regulations for COVID, against same sex marriage, opposed funds for 9-11 responders, and pretty much every extreme position that exists in politics today.

He’s probably going to win (spoilers!)

He is opposed by Republican Martin Calan (a write in US Senate candidate who’s website is a single video and pig memes), Independent Clint Smith (fighting back against voter disenfranchisement, for environmental controls and against business restrictions), and Democrat Javier Ramos (Tribal lawyer focused on voting rights, environmental issues, and employee benefits).

As stated, Biggs will probably win due to the massive red slant of this district.

District 6:

The 6th used to be the northeast part of Phoenix, and is now the red counties of the southeast part of the state. Primaries have yet to run here, so it’s an open race.

Democrats are fielding three candidates: Avery Anderson (Mechanical Engineer focused on climate issues, really wants you to know he was in some movies), Kirsten Engel (AZ House Member, fighting for education, infrastructure and healthcare issues), and Daniel Hernández Jr. (AZ house member credited with saving Gifford’s life after she was shot, focusing on voter protection, fighting inflation and of course gun control).

Republicans are fielding five candidates: Juan Ciscomani (a classic conservative political advisor focused on economic development, actually posts the entirety of the 2nd amendment, but feels the need to add Trump-cult-like text that sticks out like a sore thumb to his issues page), Young Mayberry (US Air Force veteran who plays scare tactics about Socialism and Communism, fan of Andy Biggs and Trump, focus on religious values), Lucretia Free (Magazine writer focused on business infrastructure and immigration, who claims the amount of illegal immigration attempts is double what it is measured as), Brandon Martin (Trump candidate, extreme on all positions as usual, and wants to “help clean out traitors within our own government”), and Kathleen Winn (Real estate lender focused on veteran care and senior abuse).

The district leans right, but put the right combination up against one another and the Democrats might pull an upset here.

District 7:

The 7th used to be central Phoenix, and now encompasses the Blue areas of southern Arizona. Since this and district 6 basically divide Republicans and Democrats along the south, it’s almost certain to stay Democrat.

Defending his seat is Raul Grijalva. He is one of the most left-leaning members of the House and chairs the Progressive Caucus. His focus is on education and workforce improvements. He was one of 8 people to vote against funding Israel’s Iron Dome. He is a supporter of Single-Payer healthcare and proposed a progressive budget meant to balance the budget in ten years, according to the CBO. It has since been amended and does not balance in ten years, and his support on its new form is unknown.

Running against him are three Republicans, Nina Becker (A person literally “declared mentally incompetent at this time” accused of 15 counts of fraud who’s ads read like someone injected Trump tweets right into her cerebellum), Luis Pozzolo (Uruguayan immigrant and meat shop owner focused on border control (but who thinks the crossing rate is 4 times what it actually is, and likes to pretend he came from Mexico), calls teachers groomers and parrots other extremist Trump cult lines), and David “Rizzo” Reetz (Write in whom I cannot find out much about).

As noted, it’s pretty much certainly going to Democrats.

District 8:

District 8 has shifted only a little, adding some rural parts north of Phoenix to its district. It is held by Republican Debbie Lesko, and the region is a tossup one based on recent elections.

However, there are no Democrats running for this seat.

Lesko has a sordid history with her abusive ex-husband, often being caught up in fraud charges. Lesko herself maintains her innocence and victim status, and has since moved on and remarried while her ex is once again in jail. Finding history on her is a long process as she has changed her name multiple times in connection with her ex-husband’s changes and frauds. As it is difficult to parse through cause and victimhood, the best political advice I can give is to ignore this part of her history and not judge her for it.

Lesko opposes medical privacy for women seeking abortions, including surprise invasions of clinics by law enforcement. She is a Trump candidate, even lying for him in stating that Trump did not ask Ukrainian president Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden (something very clearly incorrect and documented in multiple forms). She voted to overturn the 2020 elections and signed on to a frivolous lawsuit seeking to overturn other states’ results. She’s pushed for increasing payday lender rates to 167%. She’s a climate science denier. She opposes LGBT rights. She is also for challenging the healthcare billing system that often leaves people with surprise bills.

As Lesko has no opponent in an otherwise competitive district, she will win the 2022 election.

District 9:

What used to be southeast Phoenix, district 9 is now solidly red West Arizona. It is held by Paul Gosar, and despite there still being an open primary there, it is highly unlikely that Gosar will be unseated.

Gosar is an extreme Trump cultist. He voted to overturn the 2020 elections and participated in the incitement of the Jan 6th attacks. He has many ties to militant militia groups, has been censured in the House for promoting violence against other members (one of 24 members in history to be censured), had most of his own family oppose his 2018 and 2020 election, and often uses photoshopped images to support his insane conspiracy theories. He has fundraised for white supremacists and continues to push the Big Lie. He tried to blame the Jan 6th attack on ANTIFA. He tried to get a pre-emptive pardon from Trump. He lied about his absence at votes so that he could participate in a white supremacist rally with Steve King, hosted by Nick Fuentes. He tried to blame the Robb Elementary school shooting on transgender people, then used someone else’s photos (entirely unrelated) to accuse them of being the shooter. He attempted to claim credit for funding infrastructure expansion that he voted against. There isn’t an issue that Gosar hasn’t found himself on the wrong side of.

Gosar is scum, pure and simple. He is hated even by his own family and is a fraud, racist, sociopath and utterly without morals or even good policy understanding. He’s a disgrace to the nation.

Anyway, he’ll win, as there are no Democrats running against him.

Arizona Senate Race

Arizona’s senate seat is currently held by veteran and retired astronaut Mark Kelly. He is the husband of Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt and mass shooting in 2011. He focuses on background checks for guns (obviously) and is considered a moderate. He is for more border protection but against a wall, preferring work be done on illegal hiring, VISA overstays and using drones to monitor the border. He is for environmental regulations but against the Green New Deal.

Kelly is opposed by a plethora of Republicans, the top ones of which are Mark Brnovich (AG of Arizona who pushes to resume the death penalty, lies about the scientific consensus of climate change, pushes for privacy against IT companies like Google, stands opposed to LGBT rights including same sex marriage, and tried to throw out votes in the 2020 election), Jim Lamon (what looks like a classic conservative at first, ends up being an anti-Semitic conspiracy nut who thinks Soros plants district attorneys throughout the US to sow communism), Blake Masters (Trump cultist and conspiracy theorist), Mick McGuire (General who idolizes Barry Goldwater (despite his support for homosexuals serving openly in the military, environmental protection, gay rights, abortion rights, and the legalization of medicinal marijuana) who has a generic issues list that doesn’t go into anything specific but hits all the modern Republican notes), and Justin Olsen (AZ Rep and CFO for TPUSA, a propaganda organization, focused on curbing spending).

As it stands, Kelly polls ahead of every potential challenger by 17 points. But that can change once the primary ends and support is consolidated.


Once again we find multiple instances of extremist Republicans taking seats simply because Democrats refuse to fight for them. District 1 will either have an embezzler or likely a COVID conspiracy theorist, 5 will stay with extremist Biggs, and 8 and 9 are ceded to the Republicans without a fight, regardless of the extreme position of the Republicans running there. No seats are likely tossups, though 1, 4 and 6 are more vulnerable.

Population statistics and party affiliation tell us to expect a split state. Arizona is deep purple, with 40% registered Republican and 39% Democrat, giving a large independent population. Those independents often poll more Democratic, and it shows in the 5/4 split of current US House seats. As it stands it does not look likely that any seats will flip in Arizona, but District 6 could be a surprise turn towards Republicans, adding one seat.

To update our records, after 2 states reviewed we’ve found a 2 representative systemic deficit for Democrats, with maybe one seat to flip in AZ for Republicans. 4 Republican seats aren’t contested at all, compared to 0 Democrat seats.

Do you agree with this analysis? Which candidate would you like to see win a race?

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