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Political Endorsements Begin To Roll In Nearly A Year Before Primaries

September 19, 2021

By Terri Jo Neff |

Corporate executive Jim Lamon’s campaign for U.S. Senate received endorsements last week from the National Border Patrol Council and the Arizona Police Association, shocking many in the Republican Party who assumed Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was a shoo-in for the groups’ backing.

Lamon, the founder of Fortune 550 utility company DEPCOM Power, is among four prime candidates seeking the Republican nomination on Aug. 2, 2022 –and with it the chance to unseat Sen. Mark Kelly. The others are Brnovich, recently retired Arizona Adjutant General Michael “Mick” McGuire, and political newcomer Blake Masters, who serves as president of the Thiel Foundation.

There were also endorsements announced last week in the Arizona gubernatorial race, where businessman Steven Gaynor, former state lawmaker Matt Salmon, Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson, and current State Treasurer Kimberly Yee are hoping Republican voters will start to look past the local celebrity status of television news personality Kari Lake, the current front runner.

The endorsements came in the form of former governors Jan Brewer and Fife Symington joining Taylor Robson as co-chairs of her campaign. Their support comes after Taylor Robson and Yee spent the summer taking turns announcing various municipal and county endorsements.

Meanwhile, Rep. Aaron Lieberman (LD28) and former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez Jr. are hoping to show the name recognition enjoyed by current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs does not mean she is the best candidate to represent the Democratic Party in the race for governor.

The multi-candidate race to the Republican nomination for Arizona Secretary of State saw its biggest news to date when former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Mark Finchem (LD11) last week. Finchem’s most noted primary opponents are Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (LD23) and Rep. Shawnna Bolick (LD20).

Trump’s endorsement of Finchem overshadowed the fact Rep. Reginald Bolding (LD27) snagged the endorsements last week of two prominent Democratic state lawmakers in his race against former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes for that party’s nomination for Secretary of State.

Those endorsements, from Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios and Senate Minority Whip Martin Quezada, came as Senate President Karen Fann announced the audit report is expected to be released shortly into how well Maricopa County -especially Fontes’ office- complied with election laws and state election rules during the 2020 General Election.

The Republican primary for State Treasurer got less bloated this month when Rep. Regina Cobb (LD5) bowed out just weeks after announcing her candidacy.  Cobb will be taking an executive position with the Arizona Dental Association, leaving Sen. David Livingston (LD22) and Rep. Jeff Weninger (LD17) to duke it out.

On the Democrat side, Sen. Martin Quezada (LD29) is expected to easily win his party’s nomination in the primary.

There have not been any major changes in the race for Arizona Attorney General, where former Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould is in a close race for the Republican nomination against former federal prosecutor Lacy Cooper and UA College of Law alumna Tiffany Shedd in the primary.

And the fight for the Democratic Party nomination remains between Rep. Diego Rodriguez (LD27), former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes, and 2020 Legal Aid Attorney of the Year January Contreras. One Libertarian, Phoenix-based attorney Michael Kielsky, is also running for attorney general.

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