A grandchild of Holocaust Survivors.
The son of immigrant refugees fleeing Communism.
Recruited to the Clinton White House as the then-youngest Presidential speechwriter in United States History.
Co-founder and President of the journal, Democracy.
The primary drafter of the Democratic Party Platform in 2000
A Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer following 9/11
A speechwriter for the John Kerry Presidential Campaign.
A Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
A policy planner for the Obama Campaign.
An Arizona Assistant Attorney General and criminal prosecutor.
A co-founder of the online financial company specializing in Sustainability matters, Aspiration.
Working with Elizabeth Warren to help create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Chairperson of the Arizona Democratic Party from 2011 to 2012.
With this powerful resume, Andrei Cherny believes he has the resume and fundraising prowess to defeat David Schweikert in the contest to represent the residents of Arizona House Congressional District (CD) One.
The Biden-Kelly-Hobbs won district, which Mr. Schweikert prevailed in by the skin of his electoral teeth in the 2022 cycle, promises to be one of the major congressional battlegrounds in determining which party will control the House of Representatives in 2025.
If elected, Mr. Cherny promises to work to solve the following crises: The one facing Democracy (including the attacks on a woman’s right to choose;) the opportunity deficit by helping restore the ladder for people to rise up from where they came from; and the climate crisis.
Mr. Cherny graciously took the time to answer questions about his candidacy for Arizona CD One.
The questions and his responses are below.
- Please tell the voters at least three reasons why they should vote for you over any Democratic or Republican Mr. Schweikert in Arizona CD-One.
“I think the first reason is our campaign has the best chance of sending Mr. Schweikert into retirement which is what we so clearly need to do. He has been there 14 years and has amassed a record of someone who voted to overturn the election on January 6, 2021, has called climate change ‘folklore,’ wants a national, no- no-exceptions ban on abortion, thinks we should get rid of the F.B.I. because they’re too mean to Donald Trump, and has been one of five people in history to be censured unanimously by both parties. We need to make a real change in this district and the number one reason I believe voters should support me is I have the best chance of defeating David Schweikert.”
“Our campaign has set a record in terms of the amount of support that we have received for anyone that has ever run for Congress in Arizona. We have already announced that we have raised over a million dollars with most of those contributions coming from people giving $100 or less. That is such a real contrast to David Schweikert and the campaign he is running that is fueled by Corporate PAC contributions.”
“This is a district that is ready to vote for a Democrat who can earn their trust. My ability to tell voters about my background as a CEO, as somebody who has been an Arizona Prosecutor, as someone who has served in the military allows us to reach that eight percent of voters who voted for Mark Kelly last November and then turned around and voted for David Schweikert. Those are the people we need to be reaching.”
“The second reason to support me is I have the experience to get things done in Washington. This is not just about defeating David Schweikert. It’s about replacing David Schweikert. It’s about sending somebody to Congress who can actually deliver for Arizona, for this district, and for the country. My record of having worked with both President Clinton and President Obama, my work with Elizabeth Warren to launch the fight for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, being asked by Vice President Gore to draft the Democratic Party’s platform in 2000 and by then-Senator Obama to help draft his policy plan in 2008. Somebody who has been the Arizona State Democratic Party Chair and taken on Republicans like Jan Brewer and Russell Pierce. Somebody who has spent the past ten years building a company helping people take on Big Oil and Big Banks. Those are the kind of experiences we need of someone we send to Washington and deliver the kind of change we need. This is not about replacing one party with another. It’s not about changing an R to a D. It’s about changing America and that’s why people are so vested in making sure we bring this change to the first Congressional District.”
“The third reason voters should select me is we need somebody who has a track record that people can trust. I am happy to talk about all my successes but one of my failures is that 12 years ago I ran for Congress and narrowly lost that primary to then-State Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Back then, we tried to tell people that this was somebody whose campaign was being fueled by Republican Party donors. This is someone who was the favorite Democrat in the State Legislature of the Republicans and the Republican lobbyists. A lot of people back then said it doesn’t really matter who wins the Democratic Primary because they’ll all be voting fine but that hasn’t been the case and we’ve seen on issue after issue that it did make a difference who we elected. It makes a difference in this race too and voters in the Democratic Primary need to look at who has a track record of fighting for the values and ideas that Democrats believe in because if you want to see where someone is going, you need to look at where they have been.”
How can you succeed electorally compared to past District Nominees and current primary competition? Please explain.
“A few things. One thing is the district has changed fundamentally. The lines have changed dramatically in 2022 compared to where some of the prior nominees were running. This is a district that voted for Joe Biden, voted for Katie Hobbs, voted for Mark Kelly, Kris Mayes, and Adrian Fontes. This is a district the Democrats can win. But to win, we need to have somebody with the kind of credentials and experience that the voters we are trying to reach including disaffected Republicans and Independents are going to be looking for. So:, somebody that has been a CEO in business, somebody that has been a prosecutor taking on fraud, financial abuse, and border smuggling rings, somebody who has served in the military – these are the kind of credentials voters are going to be looking for to make the change.
We also need to make sure we have the resources to tell that story to voters. Jevon Hodge (the 2022 CD 1 Democratic Nominee) ran an amazing campaign last time around and he would be the first to say that if he had gotten the financial support that he needed nationally early enough, he probably would have won that race. There’s a reason our campaign has raised over a million dollars thus far. That’s way more than what anybody has raised ever running for any Congressional race in Arizona at this point in the campaign and that’s because of people who are excited about the campaign, who are excited to invest in the campaign, and who can help us get the message out. That is how we are going to win in 2024.
- In your opinion, what are the three major issues in the Congressional Election?
“I think that the major issues we are facing are an opportunity crisis, a Democracy crisis, and a climate crisis.”
“I am someone who is the son of immigrants who grew up in a small upstairs apartment where I saw my family really struggle economically and I was able to do things I would never have dreamed of because we had a ladder of opportunity in this country, because we had invested in public schools, Pell Grants, and libraries. This was because the Democrats led on all those fronts fighting Republicans almost every step of the way. That ladder of opportunity has broken down in America. We’ve seen that in terms of wages and standard of living that has been stagnant for most people. It has been declining for people without a post-high school education in this country. When people don’t have hope, it becomes easy for someone to come along with an agenda of hate. So, we’ve been seeing that the opportunity crisis has been leading to a Democracy crisis.”
“That’s not just about Donald Trump. The Republican Party has been working to pull back on American Democracy way before Donald Trump. We saw that in Arizona with Jan Brewer and Russell Pierce. Frankly, when a lot of people were helping them, I was leading the charge to fight against what they were doing with regard to birthright citizenship and so many other fronts. We have a country where people have stopped believing in Democracy because Democracy has stopped producing results for people. We’ve seen our minimum wage not be increased since 2009 at the federal level even though the great majority of Americans want to see it increased. We see common sense gun legislation being bottled up year after year because of Republicans in the United States Senate. We’ve seen our fundamental freedoms including and especially a woman’s right to choose been rolled back because of Republican judges and justices that have been appointed to the Supreme Court by Republican Presidents. That Democracy crisis is real. It didn’t start with Donald Trump and it won’t end with Donald Trump. That fight for Democracy and freedoms like a woman’s right to choose are core to this race.”
“Finally, the climate crisis is a thing that is directly facing the voters of this district. I’ve spent more of my career on that issue than anything else starting with working for Vice President Gore back in the 1990’s on the issue they were calling Global Warming back then. I spent the past ten years building a company that helped people ensure that their deposits were not being used to fund oil and gas pipelines as well as gun manufacturers. We’ve created the largest private sector reforestation effort in the world planting trees in Phoenix, across America, and around the world. Over a hundred million trees to help pull carbon out of the atmosphere. The climate crisis is a clear and present danger to Arizona. We’re seeing it in record heat. We’re seeing it in our issues around water and drought. But it is also an economic opportunity. Arizona should be the Solar State. We should be the renewable energy capital of the world. We should promote renewable energy jobs and the technologies that go with them – like what Detroit is to cars and Silicon Valley is to computers. But that’s going to require real leadership in Congress that understands how to turn that threat into an opportunity.”
What are your views on border security and immigration reform?
“We need both. A real investment in border security and comprehensive immigration reform. Those are not two different answers. They’re part of the same solution. One of the problems is we have a Representative in this district, David Schweikert, who has voted to cut border patrol and ATF agents. He also wants to eliminate the F.B.I. I’m someone, who, as a prosecutor, went after the rings that were smuggling not just people but drugs and guns across the border. I know what it means to bring real security to the border. The kind of chaotic situation we’re seeing at the border right now isn’t helping anybody.
The long-term solution is going to have to come in comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, an asylum system that actually makes sense and works for people who are already in the United States as well as those who are refugees who are from communism and economic and political terror. We need to make both of those things happen at the same time.”
Aide to Ukraine: “Yes”
Aide to Israel: “Yes”
Two-State Solution in that region: “I think ultimately a two-state solution is going to be the only long-term solution although given what’s happened in the last few days, that is perhaps farther away than it has been in a long time but as you look down the road, I don’t see any other long-term solution.”
Your view on the Biden/Harris Economic Record: “It is something to campaign on very strongly. Look, I think with what we’ve seen with the mess that President Biden inherited, the kind of legislation that he and others have been able to bring about, is a record that we should be touting. The Inflation Reduction Act. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The CHIPS Act. The CHIPS Act is so central to the future of Arizona but also the First Congressional District. Those jobs are being created right here, right now. One-third of all union carpenters in the state of Arizona are working on either the TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor) or the Intel Fabs. We have in David Schweikert somebody who has voted against the CHIPS Act even, when you had not just Democrats in Washington DC but Republican Governor Doug Ducey saying that’s incredibly important to Arizona’s economic future. That’s an example of ways in which David Schweikert is so incredibly out of touch with what the voters in this district are looking for and what they need.”
- Please describe how your campaign will appeal to all Democrats, disaffected Republicans, and Independents.
“It starts with my track record. I am the person in this race who has a track record of actually delivering real change, the kind of real change Democrats, disaffected Republicans, and Independents are looking for. What voters across the board want is someone who has the qualifications to do the job and actually deliver for them. When you look at Independents and the kind of Republicans that we need to reach out to, my record as somebody who has started and run a company that created jobs and opportunities for thousands of people. That raised our minimum wage to historic levels and showed that we were able to create a successful company because of that, not in spite of that. Someone who has been a prosecutor and working with law enforcement and working on public safety. Somebody who enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve after 9/11 and has that experience wearing the uniform. It has the kinds of credibility that voters in the district are going to be looking for. That doesn’t mean that people are always going to agree with the way I vote but it does mean that they know I have the ability to do the job and that I have the kinds of credentials crossover voters are going to see as really necessary to be driving the kind of future that we need for the First Congressional District.”
- Is there anything not covered in the first three questions that you would like voters to know about you and your candidacy for the CD One House seat? Please explain.
Please click on the below social media links to find out more about Mr. Cherny and his candidacy for Arizona House Congressional District (CD) One.