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Arizona's 6th congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arizona's 6th congressional district
Arizona US Congressional District 6 (since 2013).tif
Arizona's 6th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
  David Schweikert
RFountain Hills
Area724 sq mi (1,880 km2)
  • 96.8% urban
  • 3.2% rural
Population (2015)749,808[1]
Median income$73,425[2]
Cook PVIR+9[3]

Arizona's 6th congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of Arizona and encompasses parts of Maricopa County. It consists mostly of the northeastern suburbs of Phoenix, including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek and Fountain Hills.

The district is currently represented by Republican David Schweikert.

External links

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/2
  • ✪ A Conversation on Conservative Politics with Senator Jeff Flake
  • ✪ PA 8th Congressional District Debate


- Good evening, and thank you for coming. My name is Amelia Irvin, and I'm a junior in the college from Phoenix, Arizona. I am the president of Love Saxa, a group that defends healthy relationships and traditional marriage, and the co-president of the Network of Enlightened Women, a conservative women's group. I've attended loads of GU politics events, and I'm so excited to see them reaching across the aisle to host a wonderful pro-life Republican like Senator Jeff Flake. Please use the hashtag #FlakeAtGU to engage online with tonight's event. Tonight's discussion will be moderated by Mo Elleithee, the founding Executive Director of GU politics. Before launching the institute in 2015, Mo spent two decades as one of the top communication strategists in the Democratic party, most recently as Communications Director and Chief Spokesman of the Democratic National Committee. A Clinton campaign alumnus, Mo Elleithee is a graduate of Georgetown's own School of Foreign Service. Our guest of honor tonight is Senator Jeff Flake. Senator Flake is a fifth generation Arizonan, who was raised on a cattle ranch in Snowflake, Arizona. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Senator Flake served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, representing the east valley. As a member of the U.S. Senate, Senator Flakes sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Foreign Relations Committee. After serving a Mormon mission in southern Africa, Senator Flake graduated from BYU, Brigham Young University, where he received a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Political Science. In 1987, he started his career at a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm, but soon returned to Africa as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy. In 1992, Senator Flake was named Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. He recently wrote a book titled, "Conscience of a Conservative," echoing the seminal work of late conservative hero, Barry Goldwater. Senator Flake and his wife live in Mesa and have five children. Please join me in welcoming Mo Elleithee and Senator Jeff Flake. (audience applauds) - Amelia, thank you very much for the introduction, and, Senator, I've gotta tell you I'm very excited tonight. Thank you for being here. - Glad to be. - We had an all-Arizona warm-up here. Amelia is from Arizona, and I'm from Arizona. While I come from the opposite side of the aisle, I always enjoy sharing the stage with you. - [Jeff] I didn't know Arizona had any of those. (audience laughs) - The percentage went down when I came to Georgetown. (both laugh) (audience laughs) I wanna just have a conversation tonight, hopefully a short one between the two of us and then allow you to have a conversation with the students here, on the theme of your book. It's been getting a lot of attention since you released it, in which you really sort of ask some tough questions and make some tough points about the conservative movement that defined your own political career. So before we get into the meat of it, or I guess this really is kind of the meat of it, I wanna ask, to kick us off, if you wouldn't mind just defining what it means to be a Conservative from your perspective. - Well, Barry Goldwater defined a Conservative as somebody who believed in the maximum amount of freedom consistent with order. I think that's a pretty good definition. If you believe that obviously that we wanna uphold America's traditions and values in a way that it can be passed on to our posterity, take what is best of our past and our history and perpetuate that in the future. Obviously, another definition is one who believes in limited government, economic freedom, individual responsibility, and I would add to that free trade, free enterprise internationally, and is pro-immigration as well, although that has changed a little more recently in terms of what many of our party's adherents believe in. - I think your point is a good one. When I was in Democratic politics I always would sort of, in messaging meetings, talk about how Republicans, it was interesting, if you ask 10 Republicans why they're Republican or 10 Conservatives why they're Conservative, you would get some sort of, it would come back to smaller government. - Right. - Limited government. It might have an evangelical flavor to it or a Wall Street flavor to it or a Libertarian, but it would get back to that. But in your book you talk quite a bit about how the Conservative label has been preempted in a lot of ways, not just within the Republican party but Conservatives themselves, people who identify as Conservatives themselves sort of abandoning that core that you talk about. How did that happen? - I think it's happened over time. I got elected first in 2000, yeah, the year 2000 and four, and so came to Washington January 2001. It was the same time that George W. Bush was elected. It was just after the contract with America and all the excitement of the 1990s when Republicans really, I think, decided here's a contract for America, here are the principles that we believe it. It was a heady time. During the 1990s, I was running the Goldwater Institute, and we would look at what was going on in Washington and think, boy, it'd be great to be there to see this Conservative movement gaining steam. I was running a think tank in Arizona. Mike Pence was running a think tank in Indiana. We knew each other then. We were elected at the same time. I distinctly remember sitting at a State of the Union address where President Bush was talking. I think that was the first one, and he started outlining all these big government programs (laughs). There was a 750 million-dollar Office of Compassion, or something like that, and Mike and I were looking at each other. I still remember Mike was just kind of slow clapping. Mike said, Just 'cause I'm clapping for it doesn't mean I'm voting for it. (laughs) But we remarked to ourselves that we felt like we'd kind of... We're Minutemen called up to the battlefield, only to find out when we got there the war was over. Over the next several years, I couldn't help but get that feeling that Republicans, we kind of are the intellectual part of Republicanism or Conservatism. It'd kind of been spent, and we decided just to do things like No Child Left Behind, you know, more federal government involvement in local education, which really kind of stands against Conservative principles, and then the prescription drug benefit where we added about, you know, how many trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for our future, things like that. Then the big spending that came with earmarks and the corruption that came there. Then we lost the majorities in the House, the Senate, and the White House, and lost the White House as well in 2008. I have to say we deserved it as Conservatives because we didn't stick to the main, major tenet, I think, of Conservatism, which is smaller government or limited government. I think some people look at the book and say this is just a treatise on Trump or Trumpism. It's not. That's part of it, but I think Republicans, we lost our way long before that. There was one particular time I remember, and I wrote about it in the book, that I knew that we were in trouble as Republicans, and we had lost the intellectual fire power we once had, is when we brought bills to the floor to talk about flag burning and to outlaw flag burning. I've always thought the best reason not to burn a flag is the fact that you can, and we shouldn't go that direction. But then the whole Terri Schiavo issue and whatever else, we got away from limited government, and because we couldn't claim that we were the party of limited government then we had to wage some of the cultural wars. That never goes well for a party when you have to do that, and I see some of those same things going on today, the arguments about is somebody kneeling for the National Anthem. Those things are important, but in place of what ought to be the arguments that we need to have in Washington. - The word populism is thrown around a lot in today's political environment. You talk about it in your book. I kind of have a theory that where we are today, I agree with you. It's not new. This didn't come along with President Trump. President Trump kind of stepped into or stepped onto the field at a time when the political conversation outside of Washington was shifting from left versus right to up versus down, that people were feeling disconnected from the core institutions that were set up to serve them, not just government, but Wall Street, the media. Across the board, with the exception of the military, people had lost trust in our institutions. You talk about Conservatives moving away from that limited government argument, but was there anything deeper, or do you think that would have been enough to deal with that erosion of trust that we are seeing across all the institutions? - I don't know. Populism is called populism for a reason. It's popular. A candidate can identify issues that you're having, mistrust that the constituents have in their government or their representatives. I think Donald Trump addressed that in a very effective way. The problem is you've got to govern in the end, and if you can't govern then people are just even more cynical of government. You can't go on. You can't govern with the politics of resentment, and a lot of what we've seen with this populism is the politics of resentment. I'm very concerned about the direction that we're going in. Let me take my watch off. It seems to be beeping. I'll throw it to my wife here. (laughs) There. Nice catch. (audience applauds) - Mrs. Flake, ladies and gentlemen. (Jeff laughs) I read a recent article, I think from last fall, and the lead was Jeff Flake was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool. As you were sort of coming up through politics at the federal level, you're known as this fiscal conservative reformer, a little bit of a thorn in the side of party leadership. I guess, one, I would ask would you identify yourself with the Tea Party, particularly as you were coming up and now, and secondly, what would you say to those who might argue that the Tea Party sort of conditioned the environment that allowed President Trump to ascend? - The last part of that, I think that's somewhat true. As to whether or not I'm a Tea Partier, I never considered myself that. I've just always been cheap, and my wife will tell you that. (laughs) I've always thought that government ought to live within its means, and what really I was just shocked at when I got here was the waste and inefficiency, and not just that but the earmarking culture that we had. In 2005, we had 16,000 earmarks spread across 12 appropriation bills and one authorization bill, spending about 28 billion dollars. A couple of our colleagues ended up in jail because of corruption attached itself to it. A lot of my time in the House was spent going to the House floor and challenging these spending projects, and not being very successful doing that in all the time going to the floor, hundreds and hundreds of times. In fact, it came to be called the Flake Hour. At the end of every appropriation bill, we had an open rule so my leadership could stop me from doing it, and I would just try to cut money for the Tea Pot Museum or the bridge to nowhere or things like this. My colleagues would stick together to protect each other's earmarks, and so in all that time, the several hundred projects I challenged, I have one, only one, only one. It was the perfect Christmas tree project. It was subsidies for Christmas tree ornaments in North Carolina or something, and it was sponsored by, this earmark was sponsored by a Republican that the Democrats could not stand. In fact, they hated this Republican more than they liked their own earmarks, and so they voted it down. But what happened over time is corruption came in, and it just finally neither party could defend earmarks anymore, and they went away. I think that the Tea Party really started there with fiscal responsibility, and when Obamacare came along that was seen as something that was not only taking too much freedom from Americans, but also something that would put us on a fiscally unsustainable path. That was kind of the beginning, the origin of the Tea Party movement, but then it kind of drifted off. I was there for the fiscal part of it, but then it drifted off, in Arizona at least, toward anti-immigration and some of the cultural issues, and that's where I couldn't be there anymore. I grew up on a cattle ranch and a farm, a small town. Yes, it is Snowflake, Arizona. I am a Flake from Snowflake. My great-great-grandfather founded the town, and somebody named Snow came along, even in Arizona, Snowflake that way. (Mo laughs) But I grew up on a ranch, and we used migrant labor, some of it illegal labor that came in. It wasn't illegal at that point, I should say, to hire it when I was growing up or hire migrants coming across, but I got to know these migrants. I knew why they were coming, what their motivation was, and I've never been able to look at them and see a criminal class, and so that's where I parted ways, particularly when Arizona was really getting ginned up with SB1070 and all these laws that targeted immigrants. That's where, I think, the party is really, we have to correct because I think, as a Republican, as a Conservative, that immigrants and minorities should gravitate toward our party. It's up by the boot straps. It's entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and that's what most immigrants, that's why they came, for a better a life. But if we're seen as a party that is not friendly toward immigrants, if we stand and push off DACA kids, for example, you just don't ever get to have the conversation that you need to have to say, hey, you oughta be with our party, and that's really concerning to me. When we had the so-called autopsy after the Mitt Romney loss, I thought that that was necessary and proper, and I agreed with it that we've got to, as a party, appeal to a broader electorate. Then that lasted about a month, and then a populist rose up and everybody chased him. (laughs) - It's very interesting. You write very compellingly in your book about your experience on the ranch and how that helped shape your views on immigration. You also write very compellingly about growing up as a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the persecution a lot of people in your faith have faced and how that shaped your perception and your approach and your thinking on the proposed Muslim ban. Both of those things in a lot of ways, the way they're manifesting themselves politically seems to me to be feeding into this great other-ization in our politics. It's easy in this simplistic back-and-forth of politics for a lot of people on my side of the aisle to just paint this wide brush. Conservatives are racist, or Conservatives are bigoted. But I'd love to hear you make, and you touch on it a little bit with immigration, but more broadly the Conservative argument to that, pushing back on this sort of other-ization of our politics. - Every few decades we kind of go through these spasms where we're anti-immigrant. I think it's felt not just by one party but as a country. It was against the Irish at one point or against another group. The groups change, but the feelings are the same. You mentioned my faith. I'm LDS. The LDS church was persecuted. In fact, in Snowflake, my great-great-grandfather founded the town in the 1870s. By the 1890s, the Mormon church was concerned that church leadership, that there would be too many Mormons in one party or another, and then if the Administration came in and it was the other party, then the church might be persecuted again. So they went through congregations in southern Utah and Arizona, and basically said we need more representation in both parties. So if you're sitting in the left pews today, you're gonna be Democrats in the future. The right pews are vice versa. You're Republicans. In Snowflake, where I grew up, it was Main Street was a divider. If you lived west of Main Street, you were to be a Democrat, and east of Main Street, or I'm sorry, Republican, east of Main Street, Democrats, and the Flakes lived mostly east of Main Street. It held for a few generations. My father was born a Democrat. Until he was courting my mother, who finally after a while she said, I think you identify more with Republicans. He said, Okay, and so he switched. (Jeff and Mo laugh) But when grow up in a small town, it's different. My mother, after my father passed away this summer, he was 85 years-old, she gave me, after the funeral, a plaque that was given to him by the Snowflake City Council, which I have proudly on my wall, after he served a term's mayor of Snowflake. It kind of comes by rotation for Flakes there, I think. But it was just a continual reminder to me that politics doesn't have to be vitriolic. I have an uncle, you're gonna laugh, but Jake Flake from Snowflake (laughs) he was Speaker of the House in Arizona for a long period of time when I just came to Congress. Rural Arizona is just not partisan. It can be more Democrat or Republican, but it's just not vitriolic, and that's what I think we've gotta see more of here. With regard to the Muslim ban, when Donald Trump mentioned in December of '15 that there should be a ban on all Muslims, I was so incensed by it that I went that weekend to a mosque and spoke about Mormons and Muslims and talking about our common interests and why we shouldn't ban any group. I just think that as a party if we continue to go down that direction, you're just writing your obituary as a party, I think. We're going into irrelevance if we continue to, more as Republicans than Democrats right now, shun different groups, particularly immigrant groups. - A lot of self-described Conservatives who may not love this President kind of hold their nose and say, well, President Trump is giving us what we want. We're getting Conservative judges. We got tax reform, an issue that's been near and dear to your heart. I looked a recent study that said that you, in fact, vote with him about 90% of the time. A lot of people on my side will hear you speak out and then say, yeah, but you're not putting your money where your mouth is. I'm wondering how you reconcile your voting record, which is very much aligned with a lot of the President's positions with some of the things that, some of your concerns with him. - Well, first I'm a Conservative, and I vote for judges. I thought Neil Gorsuch was a stellar pick. I still do. A lot of judges that have come up through... The voting record on the floor is a bit misleading because oftentimes the President will float a name out there or come to us and say we want to nominate this person, and we'll say, Oh no, you don't. So it doesn't make its way through, and some Cabinet picks or sub-Cabinet picks are the same way, and so it just doesn't come to the floor. But also, I've always had the philosophy that a President ought to get his or her people, unless they're just not qualified, and that's why when Barack Obama was President, even though I'm a Conservative, Attorney General Lynch was not a Conservative, I voted for her because she was qualified, and the President deserved his person. I've felt that way, and I will vote, and I have voted against a few and will continue, hopefully, during the process say, Don't name this person, or, Don't take this person through the committee. But with regard to things like healthcare, I voted some 40 times to repeal and replace Obamacare before the President came and agreed with our position. I wasn't gonna change my vote just because of disagreements I have with the President on other things, and the same with tax reform. I think that my role as a Senator should be to vote with the President when I think he's right, and vote against him when I think he's wrong, and try to convince him on other things. So I think that's where I've been. - I have a lot more questions, but they're not gonna be nearly as good as the questions that come from the students. We're gonna move to questions from the audience. We've got a couple people walking around with microphones, so raise your hand. They'll come to you, and then I may intersperse a few along the way. Let's start on this side of the room. Who's got the microphone? All right. - First off, Senator Flake, I'd like to thank you for coming and speaking with us, and also thank you for the speech you gave last week defending our First Amendment right. But one of the questions I wanted to ask you, as you said you're a proponent of individual responsibility and you're a proponent of small government, less government interference in people's lives. I just wanna be able to understand sort of where you reconcile that with the pro-life stance and how that comes across in general because that's sort of one of the hard-line Conservative values that I've never been able to understand personally, since it seems that you don't want that government interference within the individual life. Thank you. - Well, thank you, and that's a good question. That's one debate that has been around for a long time, and I suppose it will be around for a long time as well. As Conservatives and as Republicans, we believe in protecting individual rights, and the difference, I guess, with Republicans and Democrats, there's not a clean break, but in general, or Conservatives and Liberals, is just whose rights are preeminent. Is it the rights of an unborn child or the rights of the mother, and at what point those rights can be asserted? I think that people of goodwill can disagree on that and continue to debate that. Today there was a vote that we just had in the Senate, cloture vote on the Pain-Capable bill, which every country in the world, not just in the U.S., we struggle with that. I think seven countries allow abortion at any stage. The rest of the world, we're among one of those seven countries, and the rest of the world has some restrictions as to at what term abortions would be allowed. I think it depends on your own philosophy or faith or beliefs, but I think people of goodwill can disagree on things like that. I respect those who say you just respect the rights of the mother at any stage, but I also respect those and tend to share more the view of those who say there ought to be at some point where you take into account the life of that child. - She referenced the speech that you gave on the Senate floor. - Right. - I guess a week or two ago. The press has long been a foil for Republicans, and many Conservatives have talked about perceived media bias against Conservatives, against Republicans. You gave a very forceful defense, though, of the press in that speech. I just was wondering if you'd walk us through that thought process, why you felt compelled to do so. - I mean, as a Conservative I think the media, the mainstream media, the lame stream media, or whatever you wanna call it. I mean, as a Conservative, there is generally a bias. I accept that, but you accept that, and you move on. What concerns me is if people in a position like I have or the President has to say, well, all right this is fake news, this is not, and by the way, I can deny media companies' licenses, or I'm in a position to restrict the kind of speech that I don't like or that I think is fake news. I don't like that, and I mentioned I think it's awful to have the President of the United States not understand history well enough to know that you don't use, you shouldn't use, a term like enemy of the people. That was most famously used by some people that we don't wanna emulate. People always say, oh, you're comparing Trump to Stalin. I wasn't really. I was saying a President of the United States is not like Stalin. He murdered millions of people, therefore, we shouldn't borrow his language, language that is so loaded like that. Then the flip side of that is around the world we've seen example after example after example of authoritarians and despots borrowing now the term fake news as justification to jail their opponents. Right now there are 262 journalists jailed around the world. That's a record. Some 21 are jailed on what are called false news charges, which echo in a bad way what's been said. So that's what the speech was about. We have to be careful about what we say. It matters. Words matter, particularly for journalists around the world, and I don't want a chilling effect on our press here as well. Like I say, I'm not suggesting that all press is unbiased. It's not, but people in my position shouldn't be, that have the authority to actually impact what speech is heard and what is not, we shouldn't be saying those kind of things and shouldn't be labeling things fake news that we know are not (laughs) or vice versa. - Okay, let's take a question from this side. - Hi, Senator Flake. Victor Gomez from Nogales, Arizona. I wanted to ask you about free trade. Last week in Davos, President Trump gave a friendly stance on the TPP and NAFTA, friendlier than usual, and I wanted to ask you where do you see NAFTA renegotiations heading, the possibility of the U.S. entering the TPP in the future and the impact of a termination of those agreements on a state like Arizona and a city like Nogales. - Well, thank you. Nogales is right on the border and benefits significantly from cross-border trade. In fact, Mexican shoppers spend eight million dollars a day in Arizona, just cross-border shopping. Arizona trades with Mexico. It's about a 15 billion dollar cross-border trade item this year. NAFTA has been wonderful for Mexico, for Canada, and the United States. Where I differ with the President is he seems to see trade as a zero-sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses, and fixates on trade deficits in an unhealthy way. Trade deficits rarely matter that much. In some cases, they really don't matter. I'm very concerned about where the President and the Administration is on trade overall. It was a big mistake for us to exit the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership. We ought to be concerned about China and how they're projecting and gaining steam around the world in trade, relative to where we are, and we gave the biggest gift we could give to China by exiting the TPP and allowing countries in Southeast Asia that really would rather be in our trade orbit, at least partly. Now they have no other choice. Now Canada and most of the TPP countries are moving ahead without us. That's really dangerous. Overall, my view on trade is we are less than 5% of the world's population in this country. We are 20% of the world's economic output and shrinking, not because we're shrinking, but the developing world is growing faster. If we don't trade, we don't grow. It's as simple as that. We've got to find new markets for our goods, and whenever we've had experience in the past, whether a Smoot-Hawley or other examples of protectionist barriers, it hasn't ended well. Particularly today where labor and capital is so mobile, we can't afford to say, all right, we're just not gonna participate. The tariffs announced last week on solar panels and washing machines, just a big mistake. No justification in terms of anti-competitive behavior or dumping. It was just some companies here wanting protection from competition, and that is something Republicans and Conservatives in particular ought to stand up and say, we can't go there. I'm very concerned about NAFTA in that the President has said that maybe we can get a better deal if we exit and then renegotiate over the next six months. Those of us who've been down in Mexico City and have talked to the Canadians and whatever else, they're not waiting, and we're losing contracts now as we speak because of uncertainty, and these countries worry that we're not gonna be a reliable trade partner in the future. It's very concerning. I think that the President, and I commend the President on helping Congress, and for all of us to put in place a more conducive tax and regulatory environment so that we can compete globally. But if we don't aggressively work for multi-lateral trade deals, bilateral, any trade we can get, then we're gonna be left behind. - Let's go to this side of the room. - Could you tell us your views on how the nomination of Merrick Garland was handled in the Senate? - That's a tough one. I've met Merrick Garland. (laughs) (audience laughs) I think he would've been a good Supreme Court Justice. I do. I do, though, when you look over history, you would have to back to, I think, 1888 to find an example of where the President in one party nominated somebody in the opposition party in the Senate and the House, or the Senate, actually move that nomination through in the last year of a President's term. You can call it whatever, but it wasn't unprecedented. This was more following precedent than not. I do think that he would've made a Supreme Court Justice. In my view, I'm a Conservative, a Republican, I think that Neil Gorsuch was more closely aligned with my philosophy, but I do think that, and I wrote in my book, it is concerning that, does that add to the intransigence and the non-cooperation, the partisanship, that we approach these nominations with? If it does, then it may not have been worth it in the end because we've gotta get away from this. Prior to 2003, nobody ever filibustered a Court pick, with the exception of Abe Fortas back in 1973, which is a different kind of case. You just didn't do it. Those of us who are, I wasn't in Congress but I watched closely the Bork hearings and Clarence Thomas. Those were extremely controversial Court picks by Presidents, and they both got votes in the Senate. Nobody would've thought at that time to filibuster. You just didn't do it. Now it's just where you go until the rules were changed to go back to basically where it was before where nobody can filibuster. I just wonder where it goes from here and how much further we delve into just the bouncing back and forth between party extremes every two years or every four years. I am very concerned about the vanishing middle in politics. - Yeah, I wanna talk about that a little bit. The McCourt School of Public Policy, our parents' school, partners with The Lugar Center to do a bipartisan index. Of the 240 Senators that they have ranked going back to the 203rd Congress, you are ranked the 203rd out of 240 most partisan Senator. At the same time, and we were talking backstage, you've forged relationships with Democrats like Tim Kaine. You famously went to a deserted island with Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico. I guess my question is how do you thread that needle? How do you stay true to your Conservative ideals and beliefs and your partisan perspective while working with Democrats like Tim Kaine and Martin Heinrich, and at a time when we just seem so polarized. Can we put the genie back in the bottle? Can we get back to some sort of working together? - I don't know. It struck me the other day how, the vanishing middle really struck me. When I took a group from Arizona, they were in the Capitol and they wanted to go see the House, and once you're in the Senate you never wanna go back to the House. (audience laughs) All right, I'll go back over there. We're snobbish that way, right? Have to go over there for the State of the Union address? - You're done. - That's about all we can take. - Yeah, check. (laughs) - No, but seriously I love the House and loved my time there. (audience laughs) (Mo laughs) But I went over there and I was giving this tour, and I was telling people, and they're always surprised. They would say, Well, where was your seat? I said there are no assigned seats in the House. There's some 450 seats, but none of them are assigned. I said, I always point out, that people tend to congregate around the same place. Up in the corner was John Murtha's corner. He was the Appropriator, and he had his corner seat so people could come and beg and kneel for their earmarks. Then there was Hispanic caucuses in a certain place there. They all go around the same place. Then I was pointing out the Blue Dog Democrats sit, those are the centrist Democrats, sit near the center aisle, symbolically. It used to be there was a big crowd there. As election time would come closer, they'd get even closer to the center. (laughs) Then I started to try to name Blue Dog Democrats that are left in the House, and I had to stop at about three or four. They just are gone. The same with Republicans who vote across the aisle. You always had a time where there were a lot of conservative Democrats, more conservative than the most liberal Republicans, and now you just don't have many crossover. That is dangerous, and I think it's not consistent with getting Conservative policy done because the more we are at loggerheads like this the more power we cede to the Administration, and the more we kind of bat back and forth on policy, but I think the less Conservative policy as well, it's certainly not healthy to cede more power to the Administration every year. As you mentioned, I've felt it was such a problem that a couple of years ago I thought we've gotta prove that Republicans and Democrats can get along. Martin Heinrich and I were elected to the Senate at the same time. We were both in the House. He's more of a Liberal Democrat from New Mexico, border state. We'd worked on a few public lands issues together, and Martin is a sportsman and a hunter and a real outdoors man. I was showing him pictures. I'd been to an island to do a little survival trip by myself and then with our two youngest kids before. But I was showing him pictures of spearing fish and whatnot for our meal, and he started to pull out pictures of this fish that he'd speared in Hawaii. I thought, those are bigger than the ones (laughs). This guy could be useful. (Mo laughs) So after a whole long evening, we had a vote-a-rama where we'd vote on amendments every couple of minutes all night long. We talked and talked and decided that we were gonna go back to the Marshall Islands in the middle of the Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and Australia, and just land on an island and see if we could survive together, the two of us, with no food or water. You think it's crazy. You're right. (laughs) (Mo laughs) But we did it. But before we went, we went to Discovery Channel and said, Would you wanna come? We'll take a GoPro and bring the footage back. You have a lot of survival shows. Maybe you'd like this. They said, No, we wanna come film it, and so they did. This was not Naked and Afraid. Believe me. (audience laughs) Afraid, yes. (Mo laughs) But we wrote a contract on the naked part. But we got to the Marshall Islands. They had us pick a couple of items, and we each had a swim mask. That was it, basically. Nothing to start a fire. Both Martin and I were very adept in our backyards in Arizona and New Mexico, at lighting fires with sticks. I could get a water bottle like this and use it as a magnifying glass and start a fire. I mean, I was good. So was he. You get to the island and nothing works. (Jeff and Mo laugh) We ate raw clam and raw fish for a week. But a full week without food or water. It was a sobering experience. It was awesome. You can still get it on Amazon. 2.99. (laughs) (Mo laughs) (audience laughs) Called Rival Survival. But we got back and we went and went on David Letterman and all the shows just to prove that Republicans and Democrats can do this. My favorite analysis was Stephen Colbert ran clips of it on his show, and said, Jeff Flake and Martin Heinrich proved once and for all Republicans and Democrats can get along when death is the only option. (Jeff and Mo laugh) (audience laughs) (Mo claps) (audience applauds) For what it's worth, we proved that empirically. - We're running short on time. I just wanna close with two final hopefully short questions. Is there room in our politics for a third party, and a corollary to that is if so, might Jeff Flake's name be seen as a standard barer? - There's an old saying that running as an Independent is the future, and it will always be the future. (laughs) (Mo laughs) (audience laughs) You have to look today, and if you think if President Trump decides to run for a second term, and if the Democrats, all the energy in the Democratic party right now is on the Left, the far Left, either Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris. If the Democrats nominate somebody from their Left and we nominate somebody who is right now on our far Right, there's got to be a huge swath of voters in the middle looking for something else. I've always thought that time for an Independent is far in the future. It may not be so far. Now who that will be, we don't know. We don't know. I do think that there will be a Republican challenge to the President as well, somebody who just gets out there with probably no hope of winning, but just to remind Republicans what we used to stand for- limited government, economic freedom, free trade, pro-immigration. So I think that you're gonna see a very exciting election period coming up. Where we'll be, I can't talk about it. My wife's here. (Mo laughs) - Let the record reflect he deflected that question. (Jeff laughs) (audience laughs) Then my final question, because you're at Georgetown University in front of a room full of a lot of aspiring public servants, what advice would you give to a young person who's thinking about going into public service in these hyper-polarized times? If you wanna tailor your answer to young Conservatives, feel free, but broadly speaking. - First advice I would get, I tell older people, people my age, change the channel every once in awhile. Please, whatever you're watching, whether it's Fox News all day or MSNBC or CNN, change the channel. It doesn't apply to you, I know, but for you, get outside of your own news feed. Expose yourself to differing opinions. Understand that not everybody feels the way you do, and that people outside of your news feed have valid opinions that you ought to respect. Realize that this smashmouth politics, it's never been as sanguine as we like to think, politics, but right now it's particularly vitriolic. I hope that fever cools at some point. But for those of you who are aspiring to go into public service, just realize it is a noble profession, whichever party you're in. I respect so much my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that have very different perspectives than I do. The interns that come and work for me... I was an intern once in the office that I now hold, and I interned for a Democrat, Dennis DeConcini. I'm glad that he instilled in me the desire to serve and that with all the cynicism out there that public service is a noble profession. Being an elected official or on a staff or fighting for these issues, advocacy groups or in any other way, is a good thing. Let's find a way to push back the cynicism that exists. We have massive problems here in the country, obviously. I think our massive debt that we are passing on to our kids is a big problem we're gonna have to face. But when you look at over history with the Civil War and Women's Suffrage and other things that we've gotten through and that we've found a way to be on the right side of, the challenges that we face today are small by comparison. It just takes goodwill on both sides. Just realize that it's a noble profession. I'm glad that there's so many here who are thinking about it. - A big part of what we try to do at the Institute of Politics and Public Service is pop filter bubbles, change news feeds, and encourage people to understand as many different perspectives as they can, and so, Senator, I wanna thank you for helping us understand yours a little bit more here tonight. Thank you for coming. - Thank you all. (audience applauds) - Senator Flake's book, Conscience of a Conservative, we do have copies right outside the auditorium, so if you are inclined, you can pick up a copy for sale on your way out. Thank you all for coming. Senator, thank you. - Thank you. (audience applauds) - This is a help, really and truly.



Arizona picked up a sixth district after the 1990 census. It covered the northeast quadrant of the state, from Flagstaff to the New Mexico border. Most of its population, however, was located in the northeastern portion of the Valley of the Sun, including Tempe and Scottsdale.

After the 2000 census, most of the Maricopa County portion of the old 6th became the 5th District, while the 6th was reconfigured to take in most of the former 1st District. It included parts of Mesa, Chandler and all of Gilbert as well as the fast-growing town of Queen Creek. It also contained the city of Apache Junction in Pinal County. For the first time since its creation in 1951, it didn't include any of Phoenix itself. The district and its predecessors had seen its share of Phoenix gradually reduced amid the Valley's explosive growth in the second half of the 20th century.

George W. Bush received 64% of the vote in this district in 2004. Native son John McCain—who represented this district (then numbered as the 1st) from 1983 to 1987—received 61.32% of the vote in the district in 2008, making it his best showing in his home state.

After the 2010 census, the old 6th essentially became the 5th District, while the 6th was redrawn to take in most of the old 3rd district.

Recent election results in statewide elections

Year Office Results
2000 President Bush 61% - 37%
2004 President Bush 64% - 35%
2008 President McCain 61% - 38%
2012 President Romney 60% - 39%
2016 President Trump 52% - 42%

List of members representing the district

Arizona began sending a sixth member to the House after the 1990 Census.

Representative Party Years Cong
Electoral history District location[4][5][6]

Karan English
Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1995
103rd Elected in 1992.
Lost re-election.
NE Arizona, including parts of Metro Phoenix:
Apache, Gila, Greenlee, Coconino (part), Graham (part), Maricopa (part), Navajo (part), Pinal (part)

J. D. Hayworth
Republican January 3, 1995 –
January 3, 2003
First elected in 1994.
Re-elected in 1996.
Re-elected in 1998.
Re-elected in 2000.
Redistricted to the 5th district.
Jeff Flake, official portrait, 112th Congress 2.jpg

Jeff Flake
Republican January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2013
Redistricted from the 1st district.
Re-elected in 2002.
Re-elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Re-elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2010.
Retired after being elected U.S. Senator.

Parts of Metro Phoenix:
Maricopa (part), Pinal (part)
David Schweikert 2011-06-15.jpg

David Schweikert
Republican January 3, 2013 –
Redistricted from the 5th district.
Re-elected in 2012.
Re-elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2016.
Re-elected in 2018.
[Data unknown/missing.]

Recent election results


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Flake 103,094 65.94%
Democratic Deborah Thomas 49,355 31.57%
Libertarian Andy Wagner 3,888 2.49%
Majority 53,739 34.37%
Total votes 156,337 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Flake* 202,882 79.38%
Libertarian Craig Stritar 52,695 20.62%
Majority 150,187 58.76%
Total votes 255,577 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Flake* 152,201 74.80%
Libertarian Jason M. Blair 51,285 25.20%
Majority 100,916 49.60%
Total votes 203,486 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Flake* 208,582 62.42%
Democratic Rebecca Schneider 115,457 34.55%
Libertarian Rick Biondi 10,137 3.03%
Majority 93,125 27.87%
Total votes 334,176 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Jeff Flake* 165,649 66.42%
Democratic Rebecca Schneider 72,615 29.12%
Libertarian Darell Tapp 7,712 3.09%
Green Richard Grayson 3,407 1.37%
Majority 93,034 37.30%
Total votes 249,383 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican David Schweikert* 179,706 61.30%
Democratic Matt Jette 97,666 33.31%
Libertarian Jack Anderson 10,167 3.47%
Green Mark Salazar 5,637 1.92%
Majority 82,040 27.99%
Total votes 293,176 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican David Schweikert* 129,578 64.86%
Democratic John Williamson 70,198 35.14%
Majority 58,380 29.82%
Total votes 199,776 100.00
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican David Schweikert* 201,578 62.13%
Democratic John Williamson 122,866 37.87%
Majority 78,712 24.26%
Total votes 324,444 100
Republican hold


Arizona’s 6th Congressional District House Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican David Schweikert* 173,140 55.19%
Democratic Anita Malik 140,559 44.81%
Majority 32,581 10.38%
Total votes 313,699 100
Republican hold

Living former Members

As of April 2015, there are three former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 6th congressional district that are currently living.

Representative Term in office Date of birth (and age)
Karan English 1993 - 1995 (1949-03-23) March 23, 1949 (age 70)
J. D. Hayworth 1995 - 2003 (1958-07-12) July 12, 1958 (age 61)
Jeff Flake 2003 - 2013 (1962-12-31) December 31, 1962 (age 56)

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  4. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts, 1789-1983. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1982.
  5. ^ Martis, Kenneth C., The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789-1989. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1989.
  6. ^ Congressional Directory: Browse 105th Congress Archived 2011-02-17 at the Wayback Machine


  1. Demographic information at
  2. 2004 Election data at
  3. 2002 Election data from
  4. 2000 Election data from
  5. 1998 Election data from

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