Ogsbury v. Schweikert in CD 5?

I’m hearing rumors that Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert will resign his post as early as tomorrow to pursue a Congressional bid in District 5, the seat currently held by Harry Mitchell.

Congressional campaigns, like all other races, have become more difficult to run, and begin earlier than in the days when our “resign to run” law was adopted.  Candidates can wait until January in the last year of their term, or resign their post if they wish to seek another office.  Truthfully, Schweikert’s decision to wait until mid-October was probably the worst of both worlds; he gains less than three months of active campaigning (which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years), and won’t be able to run as an incumbent.  It probably would have been best to have resigned over the summer, if not earlier.

The worst handling of the resign to run law, however, goes to Senate President Tim Bee.  The first negative stories in his long career came in one big wave, and all concerned whether he has violated the resign to run law.  This is no way to come out of the starting gate against a well funded incumbent.   If you’re going to suffer these slings and arrows, at least  raise  money  hand over  fist.  This quarter, Bee posted a meager  $134,000,  a  pathetic  sum  for  a  Senate  President.  He should have waited until December (to explore) or just have a full blown announcement in January.  $134,000 is nowhere near being worth the extensive negative press he’s been getting in the 8th District’s newspapers.
Schweikert’s decision to wait until after the quarterly filing deadline was probably smart.  It allows him to accumulate donations and post his first number, presumably a big one, after the new year.  Laura Knaperek made what may be a fatal mistake by filing in September, and then announcing a paltry $30,000, (over $5,000 of which came from her paid political consultants), instead of waiting just a few weeks.  You can almost hear the consultants saying, “This total is really sad.  We’ll write you the checks for now, and bill more for it later on.” Note that Bee, who shares a consultant with Knaperek, did not receive maximum contributions from that consultant, as Knaperek did.   Frankly, her campaign is probably the least able to survive mistakes like this.

Jim Ogsbury, a Scottsdale attorney and former senior Congressional staffer, raised more than three times what Knaperek, former long time Representative and Committee Chair, was able to do.  As a first time candidate in a crowded primary, Ogsbury raised just $33,000 less than the incumbent Senate President, who is the anointed candidate backed by the entire party establishment.   For those who are curious, Ogsbury raised more money in Arizona than Knaperek did in total.  Ogsbury matched his $101,000 haul with a $250,000 personal contribution.
Wanting to be in Congress really, really badly won’t be enough.  Hustle, a good message, and money to make your case will decide this primary.  I predict a two way contest between Schweikert and Ogsbury for the right to take on Harry Mitchell.


  1. Kralmajales says

    This post is all over the place excellent and right on.

    I would add that Bee began $940K behind…and now he is over a million behind. Not a dent…he raised LESS.

    Next, you usually get the biggest funders in your first quarter…people max for you. This was a “run of the mill” quarter for Giffords and she still outraised him.

    My posts on other boards are in agreement with Bee’s paltry posting of only $133K as a sitting Senate President…and after all the hype about “showing him you want him to run” and all the fundraising behind the scenes by the big donors in the region.

    That…plus…now it is even more apparent that he can’t stay on after January…because of election law.

    This is a HUGE blunder.

    Who is our next Senate pres folks?

  2. Kralmajales says

    BTW.. As an analyst, I am looking to see the figures of Lord v. Shaddeg, Kirkpatrick v. GOP hopeful, and what Mitchell brings in this time. Those numbers will hint at what kind of year 2008 will be.

  3. nightcrawler says

    Shame on you Publius.

    David Schweikert is a fine man who serves the county well. He should be able to make decisions on his own timetable and not be flushed out by knitting circle conjecture. If this turns out to be true, well, someone has betrayed his trust.

    I believe Knaperek, Ogsbury and Schweikert will all compete well. Each will have their own machine cranking. Don’t forget Hatch-Miller who is quite capable and brings a fine understanding of state and national issues to the table.

    The GOP will field a strong and capable candidate to compete with Harry Mitchell. We have a deep bench.

  4. Shame on Dave Schweikert! He is not exploratory anymore than Harry Mitchell is. Schweikert should file a fundraising report just like everyone else. The mere fact that he mortgaged his home in order to use the funds for the campaign shows he is a serious candidate. By ‘coming out’ tomorrow only delays a funding report. How sleezy!!!

  5. Oro Valley Dad says


    Grow up. If Schweikert or any of his supporters are offended by this level of coverage then he should withdrawl now. Yes David is a fine man and more importantly a shrewd politician who is probably not fazed in the slightest by this story from Publius.

    Once the primary is really underway and if David wins the nomination the coverage will be much worse.

    Schweikert is still able to make his own decisions after this story and he should stay on track with his original strategy.

  6. Mr. Conservative says


    I don’t see how you can say that Schweikert is “not exploratory anymore than Harry Mitchell is” nor do I understand how it is you make the charge that “The mere fact that he mortgaged his home in order to use the funds for the campaign”… where do you get your information from? How about some “proof” of what you’re saying? If you don’t like Schweikert’s exploratory status in this race, you should really be all “over” Jeff Hatch-Miller.

  7. Eyesonthe5th says

    Mr. Conservative- interesting that ForREAL had that information- but I’ve heard the same thing. A fundraising email went out this week, and the person stated that David and Joyce had mortgaged their home to finance his run for Congress.

    Additionally- Stan Barnes put out a fundraising invitation a few weeks ago- which surely netted well over $5k.

    He’s been acting as a candidate for quite some time, and surely his actions will be watched by not only this crowd but the FEC as well.

    I’m not sure if Jeff Hatch-Miller is doing the same- but if he is, you should share.

  8. You missed a few items about Bee’s fundraising.

    Per Congressional Quarterly, the avg Frosh Republican funds raised last quarter was $165k. Tim Bee announced at the end of August and his reporting is for one month (a quarter is 3 months). He raised $135k in just over one month. Gabby raised $250k for the 3 months. Using simple math, not only is Tim faring better than Freshman Republican Congressmen, Tim Bee is outperforming Gabby per month. AND he is just in an exploratory stage.

    Tim Bee’s support is growing and we will take back what is ours.

  9. Conservative Majority says

    I wish it was Keith Russell resigning. Could anyone be Napolitano’s lacky more?

  10. Do not be surprised to see an uprising with Russell as the fuel for the fire.

  11. TR:

    Bee needs to both announce AND resign in January. Unlike some, I think if he enters 2008 with $300K + and an announcement/resignation sling shot into a well orchestrated set of events, the pre-2008 rumblings are forgotten.

    If he does not resign. . .

    On a completely separate note, can we pass a law prohibiting MSM’s obsession with Britney Spears? Can we just ban any mention of her forthwith, henceforth, the new way forward, starting now? Does anyone understand why I am supposed to spend a fraction of a second thinking about this person?

  12. The Republican Primary in CD 5 can best be summed up as follows:

    Knaperek: Not viable; Can’t raise the money needed to compete in a Primary. Previous history of defeats by Harry Mitchell scares off crucial fundraising. (But I’d still like to hear Laura’s argument how she can do this.)

    Ogsbury: Wears the stench of Abramoff-style lobbyist all over him. In a year following high-profile GOP corruption cases, Ogsbury a Washington insider lobbyist, is the last person the GOP wants to run against Mitchell. Mitchell will beat this lobbyist soundly using the same playbook he did against Hayworth.

    Hatch-Miller: Too nice of a guy to run for Congress. Most of the money has already been sucked up by the other candidates.

    Anderson: Not a viable candidate. Maybe in another time and dimension.

    Schweikert: The strongest candidate the GOP has in name recognition, image and money. Schweikert leaves office (tomorrow) with Maricopa County in better shape than he found it. He is well liked and well-funded and will run circles around Mitchell.

  13. Conservative Majority: Please tell me how Russell is Napolitano’s lackey? Are you blaming the County Assessor for doing the job that Arizona statues mandate that he do? Or are you saying that he should ignore the law and assess property based on who gives him the best political opportunity and funds?

    I would really love to hear your response.

  14. nightcrawler says


    Not offended at all about the piece. In fact, it is well done. The timing is curious, especially since many who contribute here like Schweikert. Why not wait one day to post?


    What about Bitter Smith ?

    Knaperek has some muscle behind her fund raising efforts. You may be surprised at money to come in.

    Personally, I would like a blend.

    Ogsbury’s money, Hatch-Miller’s competence, Schweikert’s personality and oratory skill and Knaperek’s grass roots.

  15. Do not discount the grassroots and money muscle. Laura has both and she has a commitment to true public service. Forget the Harry Mitchell losses; again the LD and CD are very different animals. She will be the only woman in the field giving her instant recognition in a crowded race. If Bitter-Smith joins in, Laura will be the woman with the most name recognition and while Susan may have money, once again the grassroots will come thru.

  16. Susan Bitter-Smith is going to run. So is Hatch-Miller. That makes six candidates and anybody could win. It may be about message rather than money. Wait and see.

  17. Eyesonthe5th says

    Bitter Smith is also a lobbyist.

    This race will be about message AND money.

    DSW- let me get this straight- if your sole reasoning is that Knaperek won’t be viable due to lack of financial support; if she raises the money, will she now be viable?

  18. Wow. All of these candidates. There’s the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Looking forward to the debates.

  19. Oro Valley Dad says


    A lot of us do support Schweikert but as a blogger I know that you have to occasionally break a story in order to stay relevant and keep readership. We are trying to break news as well as comment on it.

    Bitter-Smith and Hatch-Miller are listed at Arizona Politics but neither has a current campaign web site or seems to be sending out press releases so it makes it a little harder to cover them.

  20. No one should make the mistake of backing yet ANOTHER lobbyist (local or otherwise) unless they want to retain a firm grip on their minority status. Further, some of us don’t vote for hyphenated last names – regardless of gender. Seriously Gents and Mme’s, this race is going to come down to competence. That’s what voters are demanding. That’s why I believe Schweikert has far and away the best record of accomplishment to run on (even if his mannerisms are a little like Niles Crane).

  21. cd5 is alive says

    30K in 2 weeks isnt bad at all. Besides, the fundraising wont really begin for CD5 until January/February.
    Ogsbury raised more money than LK did in AZ because he has been raising money since January…Folks lets not get ahead of ourselves here JD raised a million more than Harry and he still lost. The best candidate will and that candidate will beat Harry by 7 points!!!

Leave a Reply