Anita Malik was declared winner in the Primary for the 6th Congressional District race on Friday, August 31st after her narrow lead over Heather Ross continued to grow and the number of uncounted votes kept shrinking.
Malik’s victory in the Scottsdale-based district represents a minor upset over Heather Ross, who had the backing of several labor unions and high-profile congressional endorsements. Malik now faces four-term Republican incumbent David Schweikert in November.
“Arizonans deserve someone who will work hard to represent them and build a stronger future for our community, our state and our country,” Malik said in a statement Friday night. “As the daughter of immigrants — people who believed in the promise of America — I want to help everyone have that opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families.”
Ross said, “Although I am disappointed in the result of this primary, I thank all of my supporters from the bottom of my heart. For the first time, we had a competitive Democratic primary and gave the people of (the 6th District) something to vote for.”
Democrats have higher hopes in the traditionally red district this year, partly because Schweikert is under an ethics investigation over allegations of misspending and other issues.
Malik works in technology and communications and embraced a relatively liberal policy agenda on worker benefits, job creation and inequality. She supports transitioning to a single-payer health-care system, paid parental leave, guaranteed paid sick leave and adjusting the federal minimum wage with inflation. The current federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, hasn’t been adjusted since 2009.
Malik favors raising the income limit that is taxed to help fund Social Security as a way to shore up that program’s finances. She also wants to incentivize more private employers to match contributions to employee-retirement programs.
The House Ethics Committee decided to open that investigation after a review by the House Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body that refers cases only when it has already found substantial evidence of a violation. Schweikert maintains the investigation is rooted in an accounting problem that has since been resolved. His longtime chief of staff quit last month, effectively ending the investigation into his actions.
The northeast Valley district runs from Cave Creek and Carefree south to the Salt River Reservation near Tempe. It stretches from Deer Valley east to Fort McDowell and includes Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.