PHOENIX - In a bruising battle of incumbent congressmen, Rep. Dave Schweikert defeated Rep. Ben Quayle Tuesday as Arizona voters faced a scrambled political map during their late summer primaries.
Redistricting pitted several veteran politicos against one another here, but the fight between Schweikert and the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle to represent Arizona's 6th Congressional District stood out. The two conservative congressmen were on the same page on policy but lobbed personal attacks at each other. Schweikert accused Quayle of "carpetbagging" for moving into his district and reminded voters about a scandal that haunted Quayle in 2010, when it was revealed he contributed to a racy Scottsdale web site.
Quayle dubbed Schweikert "dishonest Dave" and suggesting he leaked a report that Quayle was one of multiple congressmen who took a dip in the Sea of Galillee during a junket to Israel.
Quayle called Schweikert to concede shortly about 10 p.m. "This is big boy politics and Congressman Quayle was absolutely gracious," Schweikert told reporters.
Quayle told supporters that he wasn't through with public life. "I'm going to continue to work so we can make this country a better place, so my daughter will have better opportunities than we had," he said.
The suburban Phoenix district is heavily Republican, making Schweikert a favorite in the November general election.
In the sprawling 4th District that covers much of northern and western Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar beat off a strong challenge from state Sen. Ron Gould. Gosar was targeted by FreedomWorks and The Club for Growth, two funders of right-wing challengers to incumbent Republicans.
Gosar said he was not afraid to rule out compromise, while Gould campaigned as the true conservative with legislative experience.
Gosar called the challenge to him "an inside deal" and said the mostly rural voters of his district were not pawns for Washington power players. "They're not here to be bought off or thwarted by outside interest groups," he said.
In the 1st District, which covers the vast northeast of the state, the onetime Democratic Congresswoman Gosar beat in 2010, Ann Kirkpatrick, easily won her party's primary to face Republican state legislator Jonathon Paton for the open seat in November. Gosar had left the district for the more Republican 4th after a state panel redrew the lines last year.
In the 2nd District in Tucson and the state's southeast, Rep. Ron Barber, a former aide to onetime Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, easily beat back a Democratic primary challenge from a state lawmaker, three months after winning a June election to succeed the wounded congresswoman.
Another former member of congress, onetime Rep. Matt Salmon, beat former State House speaker Kirk Adams for the GOP nomination in another open district in Phoenix's southeastern suburbs. And in the district that Quayle left, former Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema defeated two other prominent Democrats for the nomination in the new 9th district, which Democrats believe they have a chance of winning. The GOP primary there was too close to call among seven contenders.
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