Schweikert’s reelection prospects iffy after reprimand for campaign finance violations

Rep. David Schweikert must now convince Arizona’s 6th Congressional District that he is worthy of reelection after receiving a congressional reprimand for 11 ethics violations over campaign finance manipulations.

The Arizona Republican, who agreed to pay a $50,000 fine after the House Ethics Committee Thursday found that he “erroneously disclosed or failed to disclose” $305,000 in loans or repayment of loans “made or obtained for the benefit of his congressional campaigns” from July 2010 to December 2017, is struggling to raise money for his reelection efforts.

Schweikert’s current money troubles could damage his chances in the Cook Political Report-rated Republican-leaning district, which has sent him to Congress him since 2010.

The latest Federal Election Commission campaign filings show that the Arizona Republican has just over $230,000 cash on hand, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-endorsed candidate in the race, Hiiral Vyas Tiperneni, has eclipsed the incumbent by ending the last fundraising quarter with nearly $1.3 million cash on hand. The Republican incumbent spent $272,000 on attorneys’ fees during the House Ethics probe.

However, the Arizona Republican still has party registration numbers on his side the district, which encompasses parts of Maricopa County and takes in the northeastern suburbs of Phoenix.

The district, which is among five districts that center around Phoenix, has thousands more registered Republican voters than registered Democrats, according to the latest statistics from Arizona’s secretary of state office.

If voters in the district feel strongly about Schweikert’s campaign finance violations, which included his former chief of staff overbilling his congressional office for inappropriate expenses such as flights to the Super Bowl, the Democratic nominee must convince disenchanted Republicans to crossover.

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