Republican Joe Sweeney faced incumbent Raul Grijalva for Arizona's 7th U.S. Congressional seat.
Joe Sweeney made headlines by attacking Mexicans and gays, applying terminology that many claimed were "racial epithets."
Looking at the election returns, The Tucson Weekly made a good point by asking the right question—which most Arizona media has avoided:
"How on earth did Republican Joe Sweeney end up pulling more than 50,000 votes against Congressman Raúl Grijalva?"[ NOVEMBER 11, 2004 After Math: Running the numbers on last week's election.] By JIM NINTZEL
Joe Sweeney acted contrary to the conventional wisdom and launched a single issue campaign: immigration reform.
And it worked.
With only 36% of the vote, he lost his bid for Congress. But with more than 50,000 votes in his favor, he left his mark on that Congressional seat.
The question: how did an alleged racist garner so much of the vote?
In 2006, will Raul Grijalva be able to defeat an immigration reform candidate who avoids ethnic labels?
Raul Grijalva's days are numbered. 730 and counting…not that I'm counting.