Tipirneni concedes to Schweikert in District 6, as incumbents sweep

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Fountain Hills, was thought to be the most vulnerable member of Arizona’s House delegation, but he has now won his re-election bid. /Photo by Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

By MacKenzie Belley| Cronkite News

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Fountain Hills, was thought to be the most vulnerable member of Arizona’s House delegation, but he has now won his re-election bid. /Photo by Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Democratic challenger Hiral Tipirneni conceded to Rep. David Schweikert, R-Fountain Hills, in the race for Arizona’s 6th District congressional seat Saturday, after days of counting saw her election night lead evaporate.

The latest election results, released Saturday, showed Schweikert’s lead was continuing to grow, with the five-term Republican holding a 52.15% to 47.85% margin and a 17,646-vote advantage.

Tipirneni’s campaign had said just a day earlier that she would not concede until every vote was counted, but Saturday’s margin led her to concede to Schweikert in a “heartbreaking loss.”

“I am deeply proud of my team, this campaign and the fierceness with which we ran it,” Tipirneni said in a letter to her supporters. “We have made an immense impact, make no mistake.”

In a tweet Saturday, Schweikert did not mention Tipirneni, but said he was “humbled and overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from our community” and “honored to be your representative.”

It was a reversal for the race, which saw Tipirneni leading in early election night returns. Maricopa County still had 43,761 ballots uncounted as of Saturday, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, but it did not say how many of those might be in the 6th District, which sits north of Phoenix.

Regardless of how many ballots remain to be counted, one analyst said they would likely be of little help to Tipirneni. Paul Bentz, senior vice president of research and strategy for HighGround Public Affairs, said the ballots being counted now are from what experts have described as “late-early voters,” who have so far leaned Republican.

Bentz said Friday afternoon that Schweikert’s lead is “going to be very difficult to overcome with these final batches of votes.”

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