Watch: Arizona Congressional District 1 Democratic primary debate

May 15, 2024, 5:17 PM | Updated: May 21, 2024, 12:31 pm

PHOENIX — Six political hopefuls competed for votes during the Arizona District 1 Democratic primary debate on May 15.

The event was especially noteworthy because it was the first time the Democrats candidates debated each other.

Republican Rep. David Schweikert currently fills the seat — and he plans to run for reelection.

District 1, which is the wealthiest in Arizona, covers large parts of north Phoenix, Scottsdale and other northeast Valley suburbs. Its election results are highly anticipated, as Schweikert narrowly won the role the last time he ran for it.

In fact, Schweikert won by less than 1% in 2022, which means this wealthy district has a high chance of flipping from Republican to Democrat.

Who spoke during the Arizona District 1 Democratic primary debate?

Six candidates pitched themselves as the ideal Democratic rival to Schweikert during the May 15 debate.

The first of the candidates to speak was Amish Shah, who currently works at the Mayo Clinic. He has also served as a three-term member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

“I passed more bills than any Democrat in over a decade in the state,” Shah said.

Conor O’Callaghan, a managing director at finance company BTIG, said he has more cash on hand than any of his rivals.

“MAGA extremists like David Schweikert are the very reason why we’ve gone backwards in this district — to 1864, most recently,” O’Callaghan said.

Marlene Galán-Woods, who was previously a Republican, said she held the powerful accountable in her former position as a broadcast journalist. Now, she wants to hold Schweikert accountable.

“I stood up for democracy when Republicans were running around spreading dangerous misinformation about our elections,” Galán-Woods said.

Kurt Kroemer said he has worked to fight genocide and mass atrocities across the world. His introduction stressed his humanitarian experience.

“I am the only candidate that’s actually worked along the border, providing humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers and immigrants when I served as the CEO of the American Red Cross for this part of the country,” Kroemer said.

Andrew Horne, a small business owner, started his opening statement by saying, “Daddy, there’s a shooter.” He was quoting his daughter, who once said this when she called him from school. He said he’s committed to gun regulation and reproductive rights.

Lastly, Andrei Cherny, who founded an eco-friendly financial firm, stressed his experience working in the White House with former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“There’s only one person on this stage with a 25-year track record the Democrats can trust,” Cherny said.

What’s next after debate between Democratic candidates for CD-1?

Voters will choose which Democrat they want to run against Schweikert in the primary election on July 30.

Whoever wins the primary will run against the incumbent in the general election on Nov. 5.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Watch: Arizona Congressional District 1 Democratic primary debate