The Business Journal is reporting that Matt Salmon is considering running against Harry Mitchell.
Salmon said Thursday he is considering moving into Mitchell's congressional district to run against the Democratic freshman. Salmon currently lives in Mesa but said he has roots within Scottsdale/Tempe district.
The Republican previously represented parts of the district when he served in Congress from 1995 to 2001. Arizona congressional district lines were redrawn in 2001, creating the current fifth congressional district that includes closer-in eastern suburbs of Phoenix. Salmon said his parents live in Mitchell's district.
I'm sure that Mitchell's camp will view Salmon's run like the Salmon run pictured above, but I wouldn't be so sure. Salmon has good relations with the party faithful and he has access to plenty of DC money. After all, nothing says "electability" like being a former Congressman. Of course the words "moving into the district" don't sound good. But folks forget how far Salmon's old district used to extend into Phoenix. I live in Arcadia and Mitchell is my Congressman now, but Salmon was my Congressman from 1994 to 2000.
The article goes on to list Michelle Reagan and Hugh Hallman as possible opponents. I've mentioned them before and I think that Reagan would be especially formidable. She's got a great name and it would be hard to portray her as a bully. Plenty of folks sent me emails to say that they didn't think a pro-choice moderate could get through the primary. Of course, if she's running against 3 or 4 middle aged conservative white guys, it's going to get easier.
Speaking of middle aged conservative white guys, here's a name for you (and it's a long one)--Schweikert. I left Schweikert's name off my original list because I assumed he would want to serve a second term as Maricopa County Treasurer. I assumed he would get re-elected in 2008 and then plan to make a run at the new seat that Arizona is going to get in 2012. However, I think he's at least considering a run.
Actually, Schweikert has been running for that seat since high school. He represented North Scottsdale and Fountain Hills in the Legislature and he ran against Hayworth for the seat in 1994. He ran an impressive race for County Treasurer in 2004, and he has the best grassroots Rolodex that I've ever seen.
Mitchell is going to be a tough candidate. The Democrats are going to give him an opportunity to shine. Political junkies will recall that after the 1980 redistricting, Jim McNulty and Jim Kolbe ran for the new seat that became District 8. The Democrats in Congress wanted to protect McNulty so badly that they let him run a bill that President Reagan vetoed and then Congress overrode the veto. McNulty may still hold the record as the only freshman who sponsored a bill that overrode a veto. But Kolbe defeated McNulty the next year and then held the seat for 22 years.
Arizona has plenty of examples of one-term fluke Democratic Congressmen. Mitchell may join Jim McNulty, Karen English and Sam Coppersmith as part of the one-termer club.