Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., announced on Monday that he will run for reelection in the new Arizona 6th District instead of the new 9th District, pitting him against fellow GOP freshman Rep. Dave Schweikert in a primary. The move was expected. Quayle's statement:
Schweikert's camp is out with a statement too, in which a spokesperson says "it's unfortunate" that Quayle "decided to abandon his own district to run" in Schweikert's.
That sets up the narrative for the initial skirmish between Quayle and Schweikert along the same lines that Democratic Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell have fought in New Jersey. Most of the district was represented by Rothman under the old district lines, but his home was in another district and he had to "move" to set up the primary.
In the same way, both Quayle and Schweikert are right in laying claim to their seat. Two-thirds of the people in the new 6th District are currently represented by Quayle, but Quayle himself isn't one of them: His house is in the new 9th District. But the 9th is a toss-up seat, while the 6th leans strongly Republican, so it has been expected for months that Quayle would choose to run there.
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