Arizona GOP junior tests Trump’s election lies

GOP acceptance of Donald Trump’s election lies will be tested Tuesday as voters in Arizona choose between candidates who say they won’t prove the outcome of the 2020 race and those who think it’s time to move on.

The former president has backed and campaigned for a string of contenders for his lies, most notably former TV news anchor Cary Lake’s performance in the gubernatorial race. Lake said she would refuse to prove that President Joe Biden narrowly won in Arizona, facing lawyer and businesswoman Carlin Taylor-Robson, who said the GOP should focus on the future, though she called it “no. fair” elections.

In the race to oversee the election as secretary of state, Trump also backed a state lawmaker at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, claiming the former president was tricked into not winning.

The race in Arizona is poised to provide important clues on the direction of the Republican Party as the midterm primary season enters its final stretch this month. A victory for a Trump-backed candidate could provide the former president with an influential ally in election management as he contemplates another run for the White House in 2024. The defeat, however, could signal the party’s openness to a different path forward.

“I think most people, and a lot of people who support Trump, want to move on,” said former Arizona Gov. Jane Brewer, who backed Robson. “I mean, that was two years ago. Let’s go. Let’s move on.”

Other high-profile races on Tuesday include Republican races for Michigan governor and Missouri senator. Voters in Kansas will be the first to weigh in on abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Two Republican congressmen from Washington state who voted to impeach Trump are facing major challengers.

But the race is particularly prominent in Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold that has been more favorable for Democrats in recent years due to explosive growth in and around Phoenix. The primary and fall elections will give us insight into whether Biden’s success in 2020 is a one-off event or the start of a long-term away from the Republican Party.

With the stakes so high, Arizona has been at the center of efforts by Trump and his allies to question Biden’s victory with false claims of fraud.

Federal and state election officials, as well as Trump’s own attorney general, said there was no credible evidence that the election was tainted. The former president’s fraud charges were also dismissed across the board by courts, including by Trump-appointed judges. A manual recount by Trump supporters in Arizona’s largest county found no evidence of election theft and concluded that Biden’s victory was larger than the official tally.

While Trump remains the most popular figure within the GOP, his efforts to influence this year’s primary have had mixed results. His first-choice candidates in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania won in the primaries.

But in Georgia, another state crucial to Trump’s election, his handpicked gubernatorial candidate lost by more than 50 percentage points. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state was also nominated for a major Trump-backed rival.

The former president hopes he will have more success in Arizona, where incumbent Gov. Doug Ducey is unable to run for re-election. That could give Trump a better chance than Georgia to influence the winner.

After hosting the evening news in Phoenix for more than two decades, Lake is well known throughout much of the state. She is now a fierce critic of the mainstream media, which she says is unfair to Republicans and other enemies of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign, including the McCain family.

Lake, an outspoken proponent of Trump’s electoral lies, said her campaign “has uncovered some stealing in her own campaign,” but she has repeatedly declined to provide any evidence for that claim.

Robson’s husband, a real estate developer, is one of the richest men in the state, and her campaign is largely self-funded. The Republican establishment has grown increasingly willing to distance itself from Trump, who has united over the past month with a string of endorsements from Ducey, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence. around her.

The wave of building support for Robson has drawn national scrutiny for its assessment of the Republican base ahead of the crucial presidential primary in two years.

Christie, who ran for president in 2016, said: “Everyone wants to try and make this some kind of proxy for 2024. Trust me, I’ve been through enough of this to know that 2024 will be decided by those who take the first step. .” until the plate and ’24, and how they performed or didn’t perform at the time. “

Robson is running a largely old-school Republican campaign focused on tax cuts and regulation, protecting the border and advancing school choice.

On the Democratic side, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is a front-runner against Marco Lopez, a former Nogales mayor and border enforcement official under President Barack Obama.

As Arizona’s top election official, Hobbs is beloved by Democrats for his impassioned defense of the integrity of the 2020 election, a stance that has drawn death threats. However, she was pressured by a discrimination case that Hobbes won with a black policy adviser while he was in the legislature.

In the Senate race, Trump is backing Blake Masters, the 35-year-old first-time candidate who has spent most of his career working for billionaire Peter Thiel, who is feeding his campaign funds. Masters highlights cultural grievances fueling the right, including critical racial theories and allegations of big tech censorship.

Before Trump’s endorsement, the race had no clear front-runner between the Masters, businessman Jim Ramon and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, all vying for his support.

Ramon said Trump made a mistake in supporting Masters, and he was mining his fortune to highlight Masters’ ties to tech companies and his writings as a college student who supported open borders. Lamon signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won Arizona in 2020 and that he was one of the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.

When the attorney general’s election-fraud investigation failed to bring criminal charges against election officials, Trump took umbrage at Brnovich and potentially undermined his campaign.

The eventual winner of the primary will face incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly in the fall.

The Republican campaign for secretary of state includes Trump-backed candidate Mark Finchem at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and state Assemblyman Shawnna Bolick, who pushed for legislation to allow the legislature to override voters’ will and decide which candidate wins the state’s 11 presidential elections. people votes. The Republican establishment has rallied around advertising executive Beau Lane, who said the 2020 election is free from widespread problems.

Republican state House Speaker Rusty Powers testifies to a House committee on Trump’s post-2020 election pressure campaign on Jan. 6 as he faces a Trump-backed challenger in his bid for the state Senate .

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