Arizona’s 9th Congressional District is anything but a Democrat stronghold. Despite the fact that the seat is currently filled by Democrat Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, registration numbers show about an even split between Democrats and Republicans.
One Tuesday this past week, the Republican party nominated Wendy Rogers to take on Kyrsten in November. Winning the primary against former NFL star Andrew Walter, Rogers is obviously planning on using her military background, strong organizing skills, and conservative values the best she can. Republicans know that the best time to beat an incumbent is to get them out after their first term in office. They are viewing this as their one and only chance to take Kyrsten out, and there is plenty of money pouring in from out-of-state donors to try to defeat Kyrsten.
While Kyrsten gears up for what will most certainly be a tough re-election bid, it’s clear that she is going to need some help. Even her fundraising pleas make clear that she can’t win this election alone.
While Kyrsten is asking for money, one has to think about how Rogers can be defeated. It becomes clear that the help Kyrsten needs in order to win needs to come from David Schapira.
Back in 2010, Schapira beat Wendy Rogers when she attempted to win the Tempe State Senate seat. Schapira’s 2010 win was clearly significant, considering that in every “toss-up” district, except Schapira’s, Republicans won.
It would hard to believe that feelings weren’t hurt in 2012 between David Schapira and Kyrsten Sinema, though. They faced each other in a brutal primary for Congress, one that drained the resources of each candidate, and had to have left David and Kyrsten with some feelings towards each other.
I endorsed Kyrsten Sinema in that race. You can read the endorsement here. I endorsed Kyrsten back then because she has demonstrated time and again, that she has a remarkable ability to raise money, a unique way to relate to voters, and is a moderate Democrat with passionate values.
The primary between Kyrsten and David was brutal. And though both campaigns steered clear of mud-slinging, I know feelings were hurt.
I know that feelings were hurt because back then because after the primary, I spoke with some of David’s supporters. Some said they would be happy to vote for Kyrsten, but that they weren’t interested in volunteering for her. Another one said that they were not happy that a mailer went out that illustrated some of David’s votes.
Above all else, I know feelings were hurt because on election night 2012, I went to a few parties. While the votes were still being counted, and it was becoming clearer and clearer that Kyrsten’s election victory was not going to be as decisive as I had hoped, I stumbled into a party with coordinate campaign folks who had worked for David. There, I heard someone say to him, that had be been the nominee, there would be more of a gap between him and the Republican who, thankfully, lost to Kyrsten.
At the end of the day, David Schapira is going to have to help Kyrsten Sinema win her re-election bid. Sure, it must suck to have to help someone win the Congressional seat you once had eyes on. But David is a big boy, knows how to beat Kyrsten’s opponent, and I know he’ll do what is good for the party and throw his might behind her.