Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Wendy Rogers defeated Andrew Walter, former ASU quarterback and businessman, in the 9th Congressional District race Tuesday.
Rogers told a room full of friends, family and supporters that it was an honor to stand before them after Politico called the election in her favor and news of Walter’s concession was announced. The 9th Congressional District includes all of Tempe and Ahwatukee and parts of Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler.
“I am grateful to my opponent, and I look forward to him getting on board with us as well as his supporters and friends,” she said.
She said a lot of families have struggled under the weight of the new health care law, also called “Obamacare,” and she would be making this a priority issue with her campaign.
“Something is very wrong,” she said. “Doctors should be deciding your health outcome and the government is deciding.”
Rogers told her supporters she would fight for them against incumbent Rep. Krysten Sinema, D-Phoenix, whom she described as Obama’s cheerleader.
“I need your help, I need your time, I need your talent, I need your treasure,” she said. “Nobody will work harder than I to replace congresswoman Sinema. You have my word.”
In his concession speech, Walter said he was very grateful for all the help he received and offered words of wisdom to his supporters.
“I just made the call to Wendy Rogers congratulating her,” he said. “Times like these, I’m reminded of Hemingway, and I’m paraphrasing here: ‘I can lose an election, be beaten physically, you can even kill me, but I will not be defeated.’”
Walter said his ultimate goal has now shifted, from winning the race himself to doing everything he can to help Rogers defeat the Democratic incumbent Kyrsten Sinema, who he called extremely radical and detrimental to Arizona.
Chuck Kirkhuff, 66, was among Walter’s supporters gathered to hear the speech. He said it was eloquent and effective.
“Those are probably the most difficult speeches anybody has to make, and I thought it sent the right message,” he said. “It was upbeat.”
-Emily Mahoney, Kelcie Grega and Shelby Slade contributed to this report.