PHOENIX (AP) — Democrats lost a second U.S. House seat in Arizona on Monday after a former aide to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey won a seat in the state’s southeast that is being vacated by retiring Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.
Republican Juan Ciscomani beat Democrat Kirsten Engel in the open 6th Congressional District seat now held by Kirkpatrick. Ciscomani is a former senior adviser to Ducey who has strong ties to the business community. He touted his background as an immigrant who became a U.S. citizen after his family came to Arizona from Mexico when he was a boy.
An incumbent Republican who had been trailing until Sunday, Rep. David Schweikert, also won his race Monday. Schweikert defeated Democrat Jevin Hodge to gain a seventh term representing the northeast Phoenix suburbs’ 1st District.
Schweikert survived a second straight election where he was dogged by ethics issues, following violations of campaign finance rules and laws barring the use of congressional staff for campaign work. Hodge was seen as a rising star in Democratic politics but was hampered by the slight Republican registration advantage in the wealthy 1st Congressional District that covers parts of northeast Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills.
Both races had been too early to call since Election Day.
Ciscomani’s win cements a 6-3 Republican majority in Arizona’s congressional delegation and helps the GOP’s efforts to take control of the House. On Friday, three-term Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran lost to businessman and former Navy Seal Eli Crane in the 2nd District.
In the other highly contested Arizona congressional race, Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton beat Kelly Cooper in the suburban Phoenix 4th District.