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.