Delina DiSanto, 64, who had challenged and lost to U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar in his overwhelmingly Republican district in 2018 and 2020 will now try her luck in a more competitive arena. || Courtesy Photo
Opinion: Arizona’s affluent 1st Congressional District is attracting top talent for the 2024 race, reflecting a monumental shift in American politics.
By Phil Boas ||The Arizona Republic
The newly created 1st Congressional District in Arizona reflects the tectonic shifts underway in American politics.
Held now by Republican David Schweikert, serving his seventh term in Congress, it’s a place of affluence, with luxury homes and well-manicured landscapes throughout Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley and parts of north Phoenix.
These cushy suburbs were once the stronghold of Arizona Republicans, but no more.
With the advent of Donald Trump and the beginning of a new political era in America, the wealthy suburbs have been moving toward the Democrats.
Affluent residents are moving left
We are witnessing the “migration of the educated and affluent to the Democrats” while the “white working class and more recently a minority of the non-white working class” migrate to the Republicans, as the writer Michael Lind, a columnist for UnHerd and Tablet magazines, puts it.
This change was not provoked by Trump.
In fact, it was perceptible as far back as the 1960s, Lind explained. But when Trump announced in 2015 he was running for president, “the traditional patterns of U.S. politics were shattering and crystallizing into new formations.”
Even more remarkable about Congressional District 1 as we approach the 2024 election year, is the large number of accomplished Democrats who are eying the primary contest there for the opportunity to take on Schweikert.
Top Democratic talent is eyeing the district
If all the Democrats now considering a run for CD 1 eventually decide to dive in, the Democratic Primary will feature one of the most gifted and diverse fields of candidates we’ve seen in Arizona politics.
An early sign that this Democratic Primary will be formidable to all who enter may be the early exit of Jevin Hodge, the African American Millennial who outraised Schweikert in 2022 and was highly competitive – losing by less than a percentage point.
Despite his unexpected strong performance and his near victory, Hodge has already bowed out, announcing he won’t run in 2024 for the seat.