Arizona Congressional District Six, despite ethically embattled Republican incumbent David Schweikert’s arrogant hubris contention to the Arizona Mirror, is in play for a potential Democratic pickup in 2020.
Currently, there are three well-qualified Democrats vying to run against Schweikert in 2020. The first is 2018 CD Six nominee Antia Malik. The second is 2018 CD Eight Nominee Dr. Hiral Tipirneni. The third candidate is small business owner and community leader Stephanie Rimmer.
Ms. Rimmer co-owns an international trade business with her husband John and has been involved in the Democratic party since 1992. A mother of four, she has twice run as the (now) LD23 Democratic Nominee for the Arizona State House of Representatives in 2006 and 2008 helping Democrats expand their presence in the Northeast Valley. Ms, Rimmer has also served on boards, commissions, and committees and during her four years on the Desert Ridge Community Association board helped architect the strategic plan that serves to guide responsible development in the Northeast Valley of Maricopa County. In declaring her candidacy for the CD Six Democratic nomination, Ms. Rimmer enlisted the support of former Tempe Mayor and two-term Congressman Harry Mitchell as the chairman of her campaign.
- Please explain the reason you have chosen to run for Congress in CD 6.
“I am running for Congress because we should not always be in an uphill battle to accomplish what is best for our communities nor our businesses.
I have an extensive track record as a champion of conservation and sustainability programs including past chair of Scottsdale’s Adopt-a-Road program, advancing recycling initiatives, and developing infrastructure to help manage water run-off in both Scottsdale and Desert Ridge. Everything I have accomplished, from getting parks built, streets paved and damns funded to protect our water resources, I have done without the help of Washington.
But everything our local businesses accomplish, we do without the help of Washington. Like Rimmer Lighting, many of these businesses are dependent on international trade. And Washington politicians keep making it harder on all of us.
At this point in the game David (Schweikert) is ineffective. The Republicans are going to invest in McSally and Biggs. David has also said 2020 is his last race. It doesn’t matter if there is a primary. It is great all three are women and the best candidate will win.”
- In running, what are the three major domestic issues you will center your campaign on?
“ The top issue is the economy (jobs, trade, economic development) then climate change where we can build and create jobs that relate to sustainability.
We need a strong messenger who will talk about all that is good in Arizona to help position our state to succeed in the global economy.
We are advancing initiatives in Arizona not being done with as much success anywhere else regarding water, sustainability, aging in place, and research and development.
We are a leader in a sustainable economy that promotes innovation and technology, combats climate change and creates jobs.
We need affordable health care with coverage for pre-existing conditions and parity for mental health services.
We need to help people succeed
We have a real humanitarian crisis where people are not meeting the needs of people.”
- In running, what are the three major international issues you will center your campaign on?
“ Trade, climate change and tackling the humanitarian crisis (like economic development to help needed areas like the plight of migrants from around the world like in Central America and Syria; we can’t have everyone displaced but we can’t have just a few bear the brunt of the problem).
We need to support the quality of life for all human beings.”
- With regards to health care, do you believe in Medicare for All or expanding the Affordable Care Act or another alternative?
“First, everyone should have access to affordable health care. The fastest way to make sure more people have access and affordability is to fix what is in place quickly. We need to tackle the cost of health care because we can’t afford it. Then we should discuss how it is paid for without eliminating an industry of insurance professionals. Also, it is important to have discussions about the role of government in this process and if Medicare expansion is part of the solution. I did not have full health insurance until 32 years old. Women like me relied on Planned Parenthood for everyday healthcare because their doors were open to us.”
- In your opinion, should the federal minimum wage go up to $15.00 an hour or be adjusted depending on the region of the country you live in?
“ I tend to support that because people need a livable wage. We need strong relationships and bipartisan coalitions to work on coming together. With the right incentives, people can be paid more.”
- Do you support the Green New Deal or another proposal (like those from Governor Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, or the advocates behind the Green Real Deal)?
“Tackling climate change must be the top priority. If we put together any comprehensive plan with too many components, we will be in a battle that no one wins. If we take each component separately, we may be able to get things done faster.
We need all stakeholders involved in the formation of the plan where solutions may come up in a faster time frame. The business community has the opportunity to profit from manufacturing of new technology moving faster like energy efficient lighting (products of the future as opposed to dying businesses).
By working together to create the world we want and not presuming people of the opposite party do not want what we want, we can get there. Imagine what we can do if the next Congresswoman from CD 6 knows how to build coalitions.”
- What is your view on the moves towards clean elections and election security reform contained in HR 1?
“I used to represent the Clean Elections Institute. It does not always work in Arizona because the people who have the money together and the people who do not didn’t come up with a viable non-partisan plan that changes the system. Money is still the driving force (behind elections.) ”
- What is your view on the rash of Anti Abortion Laws surfacing in many conservative states?
“ These laws are targeting women and any law that applies to only one gender needs to be unconstitutional. If we do not pass the E.R.A. (Equal Rights Amendment,) women will not have those protections. It is wrong that we live in a country that allows any laws to exist that make government a power over people rather than the power of people. We need stronger protections against single-gender legislation like gender choice laws. We cannot have laws that make embryos more important than women and still try to say women are equal, regardless of how anyone feels about abortion.”
- Do you think President Trump should be impeached and please give two reasons for your response?
“I have not read the report. Representative (CD 9) Stanton says the report recommends continuing the investigation to see where it goes. I support the continued investigations and have full faith he will come to the right conclusion on our behalf.”
- Is there anything you would like the readers to know about you or your candidacy that the above questions did not fully convey?
“I am for advancing American Values. That means (supporting) a livable wage, affordable health care with coverage for pre-existing conditions and mental health, safe communities, a secure border, and a climate that future generations can tolerate.
Each generation has its fight.
Right now ours is to tackle the disparity between those who have and those who do not and restore dignity to government.
I am the best Democrat for voters to invest in because I have proven I can do the job of our congressman and I am the only candidate who has supported our district on the ground and have advocated for our community and business interests, having already advanced initiatives and developed the strategic plan that already serves as the guide for future growth in the Northeast Valley including successfully pursuing development of infrastructure that manages our wash systems, removes homes from the flood plain, opens up land for actual development of the biotech corridor, supported bringing Arizona State University to Desert Ridge, increased parks, and promoted conservation.
I am the only candidate who is personally impacted financially by Congresses inability to provide the necessary checks on this President’s irresponsible tariffs and harmful trade policies. My work with the cities of Scottsdale, Phoenix, State Agencies, and community groups are only part of my service to the community.
As a citizen, I chaired Scottsdale Adopt-a-Road, advanced recycling initiatives, helped bring jobs to the community, and supported education initiatives to increase funding in our schools, provide professional development to our teachers, and advance fitness and nutritional programs in our schools and communities.
My campaign is about protecting the collective investments that we Arizonans made many years ago to live, work, do business, and our raise families in the Northeast Valley.”
Stephanie Rimmer brings a wealth of pragmatic progressive experience (both as a businesswoman and activist) as a candidate for Congressional District Six.
The district, which includes all or parts of Scottsdale, Cave Creek, North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Fountain Hills has been starting to trend blue over the last several years. The 2018 Democratic Nominee Anita Malik was the first Democrat who matched expected general election performance in her challenge against Mr. Schweikert. The 2018 campaign erased 14 points off Mr. Schweikert’s 2016 electoral margin. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seeing Representative Schweikert as vulnerable because of his ethics troubles and his recent voting record (against the Violence Against Women renewal, protecting people with pre-existing health conditions, and disaster relief for fellow Americans) has targeted Arizona’s CD Six seat for a potential gain in 2020.
Stephanie Rimmer, like Anita Malik and Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, is a worthy candidate for Democrats to consider going into the 2020 primary elections. She, like the other two candidates, would prove a formidable opponent to the ethically challenged and backward-looking Mr. Schweikert
For more information on Stephanie Rimmer and her candidacy, please visit her website and Facebook Page.