Race for House seat gets dirty; Quayle accuses Schweikert of spying on campaign

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX --The primary election for the congressional races is still more than two months away but one race between two incumbents is quickly getting dirty.

Congressman Ben Quayle is accusing his opponent, Congressman David Schweikert, of sending a spy to the Quayle campaign office to snoop around.

"The other campaign ... sent over somebody to look into our offices and try to file as a volunteer, signs were stolen," Quayle said. "This person came in and started asking a bunch of questions and it just seemed odd."

Quayle's campaign says the young woman seemed suspicious so a staffer went over to the Schweikert campaign office to inquire, and found the same young woman there.

In an email to Quayle supporters, the campaign called the incident "Spygate."

"This isn't a campaign tactic," Quayle said. "This is just 'Hey, this happened' this is the truth. If you owned up to it, it would have been done in a day.'"

Schweikert's team says the story is a lie.

"We don't have an organized or unorganized spy program. We did not send a staffer over to their office, or anyone for that matter, to spy on them," Schweikert campaign spokesman Chris Baker said. 

The alleged spy in question is a teenage girl.

Baker confirms the girl in question does volunteer at the Schweikert campaign, but said Quayle's staff was "reckless" for releasing her name to the media.

"We find it disgusting and outrageous that they would drag an underage girl, an underage volunteer, to the media like they did," he said.

Quayle and Schweikert and both Republican freshmen and have been pitted against each other because of redistricting. Both are vying to represent the newly-created Congressional District 6.