Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: March 3, 1962, Los Angeles, CA

Home: Fountain Hills

Education: AZ St. U., B.A. 1986, M.B.A. 2005.

Professional Career: Owner, Sheridan Equities and Sheridan Equities Holdings.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Joyce)

Republican David Schweikert defeated two-term 5th District Democratic Rep. Harry Mitchell in 2010 and won reelection in 2012 after beating fellow incumbent GOP freshman Ben Quayle in one of the election season’s nastiest primaries. Despite his willingness to mix it up politically—with fellow lawmakers as well as with the GOP leadership—Schweikert is a wonkish fiscal conservative who “enjoys poring over a spreadsheet the way most people dive into a good novel,” The Arizona Republic said when it endorsed him in 2010.

Schweikert was born in a Catholic home for unwed mothers in downtown Los Angeles; he was adopted and raised by a family in Arizona. As a young man in Scottsdale, he was involved in sports and joined a club for Republican teens. He credits his early affinity for politics to former President Ronald Reagan. “We had a president [Jimmy Carter], who would go on television wearing a sweater and demanding that we adjust our thermostats because we were living in a world of shortages,” Schweikert recalled. Along came Reagan, who galvanized a “wave of young people,” he said. As an undergraduate at Arizona State University, Schweikert focused on finance and real estate. “I have spent almost all my life within a 20-mile radius,” he said. But he was “fiercely independent,” refusing to accept his parents’ help to finance his education. He acquired a real estate license at the age of 18 and worked full-time while taking classes at night. He graduated in six years.

He ventured into the political arena at age 26, when he lost a bid to represent the Scottsdale area in the Arizona House. Two years later, he was elected to an open seat, and at the end of his freshman term, he became majority whip. He was 30 and one of the youngest whips in state history. He worked to pass legislation that laid the foundation for tax cuts, tort reform, and charter schools, as well as a bill shortening the legislative session from 170 to 98 days. In the course of his public service, Schweikert returned to ASU to get a master’s degree in business administration. He next ran for Maricopa County treasurer and won. In that role from 2004 to 2007, he managed a $4 billion budget, created a program to help low-income seniors pay their property taxes, and corrected thousands of deed errors.

In 2008, Schweikert was the Republican nominee to challenge Mitchell, a Democrat who had dethroned six-term GOP Rep. J.D. Hayworth two years earlier. Schweikert lost by 9 percentage points in an inhospitable year for Republicans. Two years later, however, Democrats could not catch a break from a disillusioned, recession-weary electorate, and Schweikert’s rematch with Mitchell told the larger tale of Election 2010. It featured an incumbent under fire for supporting the Obama administration agenda and a conservative challenger touting his outsider credentials. Schweikert made Mitchell’s vote for President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic-stimulus bill a central theme, and his campaign signs called Mitchell a “lap dog” for liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Mitchell countered that he had been among the Democrats most likely to buck his party. The incumbent had the money edge: By late fall, Mitchell had raised $1.4 million, and Schweikert just under half that amount. But he defeated Mitchell, 53%-42%. A Libertarian candidate got 4%.

In the House, Schweikert became known for his studiousness; he told The Washington Post in May 2011 that he spent five hours a day learning the workings of government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a member of the Financial Services Committee. He worked with Republican Jeb Hensarling of Texas on a measure to phase out the dollar bill for the dollar coin, saying it could save the government about $5.5 billion over 30 years. In the summer of 2011, he strongly opposed raising the federal debt ceiling. He accused Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner of having “his hair on fire…. It’s absolutely silly. We have plenty of cash flow to pay debt.” In January 2012, he introduced a bill proposing a constitutional amendment that would force Congress to get approval from a majority of the states before increasing the debt level in the future. During debate at the end of 2011 about extending the payroll tax cut, he voted against the initial two-month extension pushed by the Senate, saying that cutting taxes without offsetting spending cuts was “very dangerous policy.” But he ultimately agreed to a final compromise that was signed into law.

After the 2010 census, the state’s independent redistricting commission lumped Schweikert together in a race with Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. The younger Quayle represented 67% of the new district, while Schweikert was familiar to only 31%. House Republican leaders and outgoing Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl lined up to support Quayle, whom they considered the more faithful Republican. The race drew national attention when the two men began aggressively attacking each other. Schweikert portrayed himself as a reformer up against the GOP establishment, which he said his opponent embodied. He also cast Quayle as immature, reviving allegations from 2010 that his opponent had made offensive comments on a racy nightlife website, DirtyScottsdale.com. At the time, Quayle at first denied any connection with the site, but later in the 2010 campaign acknowledged that he had done some writing for it.

Quayle labeled Schweikert “Dishonest Dave” and accused him of being the source of a Politico story alleging that Quayle was one of the GOP congressmen who took a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee during a 2011 trip to Israel. (Quayle said he took a brief swim and brought home some of the sea water to baptize his daughter.) The acrimony reached its apex when Schweikert’s campaign sent out a mailer claiming that Quayle “goes both ways” on conservative issues. Quayle and his supporters, including Sen. John McCain, angrily accused Schweikert of sexual innuendo, a charge that the congressman denied. Schweikert prevailed, 51% to 49%. That made the general-election race a formality; he won with 61% over Matt Jette, who had been nominated in the Democratic primary but who subsequently ran as an independent.

In December 2012, House Republican leaders took the rare step of booting Schweikert off Financial Services; Schweikert’s aides claimed it was because of his willingness to challenge the leadership, although the bitterness of his race with Quayle also may have been a factor. He moved to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Four months earlier, he left the House Republican whip team.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2190

(202) 225-0096

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 409
Washington, DC 20515-0306

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2190

(202) 225-0096

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 409
Washington, DC 20515-0306

DISTRICT OFFICE

(480) 946-2411

(480) 946-2446

10603 North Hayden Road Suite 108
Scottsdale, AZ 85260-5571

DISTRICT OFFICE

(480) 946-2411

(480) 946-2446

10603 North Hayden Road Suite 108
Scottsdale, AZ 85260-5571

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(480) 302-4872

15819 East Sycamore Drive
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

15819 East Sycamore Drive
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Agriculture

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Appropriations

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Budget

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Education

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Energy

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Environment

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Family

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Finance

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Foreign

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Govt Ops

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Health

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Housing

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Immigration

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Intelligence

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Judiciary

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Labor

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Military

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Native Americans

Beau Brunson
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Public Works

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Science

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Tax

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Technology

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Kelly Roberson
Policy Advisor

Trade

Ryan White
Senior Legislative Assistant

ryan.white@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2190

Transportation

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Katherina Dimenstein
Senior Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
David Schweikert
Votes: 179,706
Percent: 61.3%
Matt Jette
Votes: 97,666
Percent: 33.31%
2012 PRIMARY
David Schweikert
Votes: 41,821
Percent: 51.48%
Ben Quayle
Votes: 39,414
Percent: 48.52%
2010 GENERAL
David Schweikert
Votes: 110,374
Percent: 52.0%
Harry Mitchell
Votes: 91,749
Percent: 43.23%
2010 PRIMARY
David Schweikert
Votes: 26,678
Percent: 37.23%
Jim Ward
Votes: 18,480
Percent: 25.79%
Susan Bitter Smith
Votes: 17,297
Percent: 24.14%
Chris Salvino
Votes: 7,156
Percent: 9.99%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (52%)

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