Rick Renzi out in AZ-1

This really isn’t a surprise, but Roll Call has the news. Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) will not run for re-election. The FBI raid was making this swing seat even harder to keep, and there was a lot of pressure from the NRCC to get out.

There will undoubtedly be a nasty primary. The one Renzi won in 2002 was described to me once as a bloodbath between the Catholics, Evangelicals, and Mormons. Renzi, a Catholic, won with 24%, with the next two candidates each having 20% and another with 16%. Less than a 2k vote margin.

This is also a swing seat. His first race, a good year for Republicans, he won with only 3% or 6k votes. In 2006, the margin was larger with 7% or about 13k votes. Expect a brawl, especially with Arizona being a swing state. A swing seat in a swing state means a lot of money…

Arizona housing bust

Another swing state, another problem. The AZ Republic has the story:

In total, RealtyTrac has estimated that one of every 92 households in Arizona is in some stage of foreclosure, meaning the situation is likely affecting both speculators and average homeowners. …

That firm shows that 2,952 homes were foreclosed on in Maricopa County from January through June, up from 208 during the first half of 2006.

1300% increase in 2 years?

H/T: The Housing Bubble Blog