Heated Schweikert, Quayle race dirty until the endPosted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman
PHOENIX -- Redistricting pitted freshman Republican incumbents Ben Quayle and David Schweikert against each other in the primary race for the congressional seat in Arizona’s sixth district.
The two candidates are virtually indistinguishable ideologically, aside from opposing views on extending payroll tax cuts, which Schweikert supported and Quayle opposed.
The candidates’ similar views on the issues had the pair focusing instead on character attacks, with each accusing the other of dirty politics in a string of negative campaign ads.
Pro-Quayle ads superimposed a picture of Schweikert on a wanted poster and called him “dishonest Dave.”
The Schweikert campaign circulated mailers accusing Quayle of “going both ways,” which some, including Quayle, believed was a thinly veiled reference to bi-sexuality.
The mud-slinging did not stop there, continuing into the waning hours of the campaign.
3TV caught up with Quayle at a Cave Creek voting location on Tuesday morning, where he couldn’t resist taking a shot at Schweikert.
“We wanted to stay focused on the debate, on the issues, on the differences we do have. Unfortunately, the Schweikert campaign took a different track, and we had to respond to the falsehoods they were saying,” said Quayle.
Schweikert declined an interview request for Tuesday, but spoke with 3TV last week, when he was just as eager to get in a dig at his opponent. He brought up Quayle’s 2010 campaign, in which Quayle did not immediately come forward about his involvement in the website TheDirty.com.
“He lied to this community about his participation in that adult website,” said Schweikert. “He may have some trouble with the context of not having told the truth in the past. “
Despite endorsements from GOP heavy hitters John McCain and Jon Kyl for Quayle, early polling numbers show Schweikert with the lead. Quayle disputes those numbers because they come from an internal Schweikert poll, but has not produced a poll himself.
For District 6 election results click here