Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. I moved this one forward to Thursday because of the Memorial Day weekend. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for Majority Savers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This incumbent replaced the now toxic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 in a Phoenix based district. Now, Arizona’s 4th district contains more of the East Valley and less of his home base, which will make it a swing seat in 2022. Majority Savers travels to my second home state in order to highlight ssecond term Rep. Greg Stanton!
Stanton’s campaign website sucks, so I am having difficulty finding out any details about his entire background. I’m relying on Wikipedia for most of my information — always a danger. If you have positive things to share about Rep. Stanton, please feel free to comment!
- Stanton graduated with a degree in history and political science from Marquette University in 1992. These degrees often are assets in understanding the political process and running for office.
- He continued his education at the University of Michigan Law School and specialized in educational issues as an attorney. He worked as an attorney from 1995-2000.
- Stanton moved back to Arizona in 2000 and got elected to the Phoenix City Council. He leveled up to the mayor’s office in 2011 and served as the mayor of this large city until he was elected to Congress in 2018.
Rep. Greg Stanton has a DW Nominate score of -0.291, which puts him on the moderate end of the political spectrum for Democratic candidates. He is more liberal than 60% of the combined membership of the House, but he is also more conservative than 76% of the Democratic caucus in the House. This will serve him well in a swing seat and for statewide ambitions should he harbor any.
By the end of the decade, assuming the trends in the area hold, Stanton could possibly be replaced by a “better Democrat”. For now, his New Democratic Coalition moderation is what we need to make sure that we hold Arizona’s 4th district. Remember that he is an upgrade on Sinema, which is an upgrade on ANY member of the current Republican Party!
I am finding it hard to know where he stands on issues because his campaign website sucks and Wikipedia is mostly empty. I really don’t want to delve into every vote he has taken and every speech he has given over 4 years. I will make inferences based upon his tenure as mayor of Phoenix and also which committees he is on.
Urban Transportation: Rep. Stanton is on the Transportation Committee, and specifically the Subcommittees of Aviation and Highways & Transit. As mayor of Phoenix, he was the biggest proponent pushing the light rail system that is currently being built in the city. He also was looking to expand sidewalks and bike lanes in a city notorious for its car culture.
LGBTQ+ Rights: Stanton supported the Equality Act, which would make LGBTQ+ a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This was later adjudicated to be constitutional in the Supreme Court. That was before RBG died, which means that LGBTQ+ rights are likely to be stripped away by the Fascist Five in the current Supreme Court.
Health Care: Stanton has protected the ACA from damages inflicted by TFG, and looks to lower the costs of prescription drugs through importing them from Mexico. He is also pro-choice, which is important given that the Supreme Court is about to overturn 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 54.2%, TFG (R-inc) 43.9%
2020 House: Greg Stanton (D-inc) 61.6%, Dave Giles (R) 38.4%
2022 Race Rating: Leans Democratic
2022 PVI: D+2
This district is the successor to the 9th district from last decade. That district was designed to be a Phoenix based swing seat, and it acted that way for the first election when current Sen. Sinema narrowly won her first election in 2012. It was thought that Sinema was in for a dogfight in 2014 due to the six-year itch phenomenon, but it turned out to be a dud of a race and Sinema was never challenged for the House seat again.
In terms of the presidential race, this new district has added more conservative turf to make it a swing seat once more. This is part of the criteria required by the Arizona Redistricting Commission in selecting a map. Hillary Clinton barely won the new 4th district 46-45, while Joe Biden won this district (and thus the state of Arizona) much more comfortably as shown above.
Political Tour of the District
The new 4th district is the successor to the old 9th district from 2012-2022. the Arizona Redistricting Commission does not keep consistent numbers on most districts from decade to decade, which can make following elections over time difficult. While the old 9th district covered mostly Phoenix and Tempe, the new 4th district avoids Phoenix, except for the Ahwatukee area which is extreme southern Phoenix. Instead, the suburbs of Tempe, Chandler, and Mesa are included in this version of the district.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 4th district.
- Tempe: This is one of the older suburbs of Phoenix and is the home of the flagship university in the Valley, Arizona State. It is critically important for Stanton to turnout the professors and the student vote found in this city, as it is the largest source of reliable votes in the district.
- Ahwatukee and Chandler: These cities/neighborhoods are more swingy than Tempe is, mainly because they are newer subdivisions and just starting to diversify. There is a chance that these areas will snap back to the GOP, but with the looming ejection of the McCain wing of the party this is not as likely.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Mesa: Dave's Redistricting App shows that the western half of Mesa closer to the city of Phoenix is starting to diversify and turn Democratic along with that diversification. The eastern half of the city that is further away from the city core is blood red still, and it is the main source of GOP votes remaining in the district. If Mesa snaps back to previous trends, Stanton will be in trouble.
Activism — Help How You Can!
The good news is that Rep. Greg Stanton is taking this race very seriously. He raised $979k in Quarter 1 of this year, which should go a long way in the pricey Phoenix media market (which will get saturated with ads, let me tell ya). If you take away the self-funding of one candidate, it is double what the GOP opposition raised in the quarter, knowing that their primary has yet to be settled.
To continue the good news, Stanton has a healthy $2.43 MILLION cash on hand for this race, which is exactly the kind of cash he will need to get his message out. There definitely will be dark money attacking him if they sense weakness, so he might need more. Let’s keep up the momentum! Add a small donation towards him today!
DONATE TO REP. GREG STANTON HERE
If you live in the Valley of the Sun and you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, it is best to sign up at https://www.stantonforarizona.com/. You can still text bank or phone bank for him even if you cannot canvass for him, so this is definitely a campaign that can help the Senate and Governor races as well.
If you are like me and shy away from volunteering and donating, you can follow him on social media. Stanton has around 66.3k followers, which befits someone who has been relevant in a large metropolitan area for over a decade.
If you don’t like the bird app, you can follow him on Facebook at stantonforarizona, or on Instagram at gregstantonaz.
Thank you once again for reading another edition of the Majority Savers! Roe vs. Wade being overturned in the memo spurred me to action sooner than I’d anticipated! Thankfully, most of the incumbents I have highlighted are ready for their challenges. That includes today’s incumbent, Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona’s 4th district!