You Read It Here First (and Solely): Sweeney Wins One For Immigration Reform
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November 11, 2004, 04:00 AM
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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 email this author

How indeed?

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.