Arizona’s Congressional Primary Winners

Arizona’s Congressional Primary Winners

By Corinne Murdock |

Senate: Kelly v. Masters v. Victor

Democrat incumbent Senator Mark Kelly ran uncontested. He earned over 506,800 votes.

Republican Blake Masters accrued over 256,000 votes, pulling ahead of contenders Jim Lamon (187,714 votes), Attorney General Mark Brnovich (119,232 votes), Mick McGuire (57,895 votes), and Justin Olson (33,307). Former President Donald Trump endorsed Masters.

The Libertarian Party candidate, Marc Victor, ran uncontested as well. He earned just under 2,600 votes. 

Congress, District 1: Hodge v. Schweikert

Democrat Jevin Hodge bested Adam Metzendorf, over 39,200 votes to over 24,600 votes.

Incumbent David Schweikert (R-AZ-06), who had Trump’s endorsement, accrued over 42,000 votes, achieving 10 percent more of the vote than runner-up Elijah Norton and 20 percent more of the vote than Josh Barnett.

The District 1 Republican primary was one of the more contested ones. Schweikert and Norton lobbed accusations at one another over ethics, either concerning campaign signs or finances. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) fined Schweikert $125,000 for 11 ethics violations.

Congress, District 2: Crane v. O’Halleran

Republican Eli Crane beat out State Representative Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake), earning just under 28,400 votes over Blackman’s over 20,400 votes. The remainder of the heavily-contested primary split the vote five different ways: Mark DeLuzio, under 14,800 votes; John Moore, over 6,000 votes; Andy Yates, just under 6,000 votes; Steven Krystofiak, just over 4,700 votes; and Ron Watkins in last, with just over 3,100 votes.

Crane had Trump’s endorsement.

Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) pulled over 57,600 votes. 

Congress, District 3: Gallego v. Nelson

Democratic incumbent Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07) earned just under 39,800 votes.

Gallego pledged to “make an example” of Republican candidate Jeff Zink, who ran uncontested and earned over 11,500 votes. Zink’s son, Texas resident Ryan Zink, was arrested over his presence at the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. The elder Zink attended the rally, but didn’t participate in the riot. 

Congress, District 4: Cooper v. Stanton

Republican Kelly Cooper (just under 16,700 votes) edged out a narrow victory over opponents Tanya Wheeless (over 13,900 votes), Dave Giles (nearly 11,000), Rene Lopez (over 8,000 votes), Rene Lopez (over 8,000), and Jerone Davison (over 7,000). 

Democratic incumbent Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09) ran uncontested, earning over 51,700 votes.

Congress, District 5: Biggs v. Ramos

Incumbent Republican Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) ran uncontested, earning over 73,300 votes.

Biggs will face off against Democrat Javier Ramos, who ran uncontested and pulled over 41,500 votes.

Congress, District 6: Ciscomani v. Engel

Republican Juan Ciscomani won a crowded race, beating out four other opponents with over 43,800 votes. Brandon Martin earned over 12,200 votes, Kathleen Winn earned over 17,200 votes, Young Mayberry earned over 7,900 votes, and Lucretia Free earned over 4,400 votes.

In a slightly-less crowded race, Democrat and former state legislator Kirsten Engel (over 49,800 votes) beat out State Representative Daniel Hernandez (D-Tucson), who earned over 28,600 votes, and Avery Anderson, who earned over 5,000 votes. 

Congress, District 7: Grijalva v. Pozzolo

Incumbent Democrat Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) ran uncontested, pulling over 56,000 votes. 

Grijalva will face off against Republican candidate Luis Pozzolo, who earned over 17,500 votes compared to his opponent, Nina Becker, with over 8,000 votes.

Congress, District 8: Lesko

Incumbent Republican Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) ran uncontested, and faces no opponents in the general election.

Congress, District 9: Gosar

Incumbent Republican Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) emerged victorious in a crowded primary with over 58,200 votes. He beat out three opponents: Randy Kutz, over 11,500 votes; Adam Morgan, nearly 11,100 votes; and Sandra Dowling, over 8,100 votes.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Congressman Biggs Proposes Withdrawal From World Health Organization

Congressman Biggs Proposes Withdrawal From World Health Organization

By Corinne Murdock |

On Friday, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) introduced legislation proposing U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO). The “WHO Withdrawal Act” would also prohibit U.S. funds from being given to the WHO or any of its successor organizations. 

Biggs’ proposal would continue previous efforts by former President Donald Trump in 2020 over the WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Joe Biden reversed those efforts upon assuming office. 

Biggs echoed Trump’s sentiments on the WHO as an unreliable hotbed of “mismanagement, cover-ups, and failures” warranting U.S. secession.

“For years, the WHO has undermined American interests and remains one of the most corrupt and ineffective international institutions,” remarked Biggs. 

Biggs further accused the WHO of doing the bidding of the Chinese government, as well as ruining public health investigations such as the one discerning the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. 

17 other congressmen signed on as cosponsors to Biggs’ proposal, including Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04).

Gosar responded that the bill was of “America First” caliber, alluding to Trump’s popular presidential slogan. 

Though Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) was absent from the list of cosponsors on Biggs’ bill, she did sign onto a similar bill introduced by Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX-21) last January. That legislation would prohibit the U.S. from funding the WHO. It hasn’t made it out of committee.

An hour after Biggs announced his WHO Withdrawal Act, Lesko reminded constituents of her support for Roy’s legislation.

Historically, the U.S. was the largest funder of the WHO. At present, this country ranks as the third-largest contributor. Both Germany and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more to the WHO from 2020 to 2021. Germany gave nearly 1.27 billion, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $751 million, and the U.S. gave $693 million. 

WHO was founded in 1948 as an international health work agency within the United Nations (UN).

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Congressman Biggs Chairs Hearing on FBI, DOJ Attacks to Suppress Press

Congressman Biggs Chairs Hearing on FBI, DOJ Attacks to Suppress Press

By Corinne Murdock |

Reporters who embark on their own investigations rather than relying on Biden administration-approved information may find themselves under the FBI and DOJ microscope. The practice was common in the Obama administration, and it appears that it may be standard for the Biden administration as well. 

Two such investigative reporters testified earlier this month in an off-site congressional hearing chaired by Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05). Biggs and other members of the House Freedom Caucus pledged to draft legislation to ensure reporters in the future wouldn’t endure what those who testified faced under the Obama and Biden administrations.

Biggs accused Biden of “following in the footsteps” of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, in reference to what James O’Keefe, the founder and president of the investigative reporting organization, Project Veritas, endured in comparison to what acclaimed investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson endured under the Obama administration. 

The Obama DOJ surveilled Attkisson illegally for her investigation into the “Fast and Furious” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) scandal. “Fast and Furious” was a secret government operation of “gunwalking,” or selling firearms illegally to straw buyers in the hopes that they could be tracked to Mexican cartel leaders. The operation was deemed a failure as federal law enforcement lost track of the weapons sold. In 2010, two of their guns resurfaced at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, exposing the ATF’s secret operation. 

Attkisson testified that the DOJ and FBI engaged in multiple operations against her, surveilling her and her family’s computer activity while she worked at CBS News. However, the Obama administration went beyond mere surveillance. Attkisson revealed that one of the agents attempted to implant child pornography in her husband’s computer.

“Imagine how you ever get out of that. They knew we had a young daughter at home and had ‘allegedly’ conspired to do that,” said Attkisson. 

She noted that agents didn’t have court orders to surveil her or infiltrate her former employers’ communications. 

“Too often the whistleblowers get punished while the criminals and abusers get a pass,” observed Attkisson. 

To date, the DOJ never faced penalties for surveilling Attkisson. 

The hearing also featured testimony from O’Keefe. The Biden DOJ surveilled and invaded Project Veritas for their reporting on Ashley Biden’s diary. The DOJ’s actions prompted several statements from the ACLU criticizing the precedent set by the Biden administration.

O’Keefe reported that the FBI took 47 devices from his organization over their investigation into the diary. He showed a short clip of the raid. O’Keefe said that in less than a month, Ashley Biden’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, had her request, which he called a “political favor,” approved for a district court to issue secret subpoenas, orders, and warrants against Project Veritas with gag orders. O’Keefe explained that the court declared that he wasn’t a journalist because he didn’t receive permission from the subjects of his investigative journalism. 

“We did nothing wrong other than the non-crime of investigating a story, as journalists do,” said O’Keefe. “Obviously we can’t trust the Department of Justice to define who is and who is not a journalist depending on who is in charge.”

O’Keefe requested that the Freedom Caucus convene a Bartnicki hearing, referring to the 2001 Supreme Court ruling that the First Amendment protection extends to illegally interception communications. 

Watch the entire hearing here:

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Congressman Biggs Warns Government’s Current Plan Will Worsen Baby Formula Crisis

Congressman Biggs Warns Government’s Current Plan Will Worsen Baby Formula Crisis

By Corinne Murdock |

Following a controversial vote against a bill addressing the baby formula shortage, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) claimed that Congress’ plan would exacerbate the crisis. Not only that: Biggs ventured that the legislation, HR7791 or the “Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022,” would put the nation in worse shape amid the burgeoning inflation crisis. 

Biggs explained that the bill would only bloat the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at the expense of families. Only families between 100 and 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines qualify for WIC. 

“Throwing tens of millions of dollars at the FDA — an agency arguably responsible for facilitating this crisis — is not a viable solution. Empowering the Secretary of the USDA so that they can waive administrative requirements for the WIC program is ineffective and artificial,” wrote Biggs. “This legislation would make baby formula shortages worse for most Americans. It will allow WIC to utilize a far greater portion of the baby formula market, crowding out many hard-working American families. The better solutions are to distribute formula currently in the hands of federal agencies and reduce regulatory barriers that would allow for the expansion of domestic formula production.”

HR7791 was one of two bills considered by Congress to address the baby formula crisis; it was passed Thursday in the Senate following passage in the House on Wednesday. It does not produce more formula, and it doesn’t help all families. Rather, it enables the FDA to scale back on its traditional regulatory powers to fast-track approvals and open up more options within WIC — not families outside the program. It was introduced by Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05) on Tuesday. 

The other bill, HR7790 or the “Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act,” passed the House on Wednesday largely along party lines, 231-192, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats to pass the bill. HR7790 would allocate $28 million to the FDA to increase staffing, therefore increasing the speed by which it inspects baby formula prior to being sold, and to commence research on best practices to prevent future shortages.

Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) also voted against the HR7790, joined by Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Chip Roy (R-TX-21),  Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), Clay Higgins (R-LA-), and Thomas Massie (R-KY-).

The other legislators offered similar rationale for voting against the bill.

Boebert blamed the shortage on the FDA for closing the Abbott plant.

Gaetz noted that the legislation was just another emergency authority to grow government.

“All considered, government-empowered swings to markets typically create more problems than they solve,” wrote Gaetz. 

Gohmert proposed a different plan altogether: remove the FDA from the equation entirely. He rebutted claims that the Abbott plant was shut down over contamination concerns, noting that the FDA found no proof to justify their contamination claims and didn’t employ a plan to cover potential shortages once they forced the plant’s shutdown.

“There was no easing of restrictions by the FDA, no reopening plan from the FDA and not even an apparent awareness of the consequences of their actions until there was a critical shortage and American mothers were unable to feed their babies,” wrote Gohmert. “The FDA got us into this mess and they cannot get us out of it.” 

President Joe Biden announced earlier this week that he was invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) and launching a program, Operation Fly Formula, to curb the baby formula shortage. The DPA will require suppliers to prioritize baby formula producers in their distribution above other customers. The program directs the Defense Department to secure baby formula overseas. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

January 6 Committee to Interrogate Congressman Andy Biggs

January 6 Committee to Interrogate Congressman Andy Biggs

By Corinne Murdock |

The U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 incident announced on Monday that it requested a meeting with Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05). The committee called cooperation “a patriotic duty.” They asked that Biggs meet with them as soon as next Monday. 

In a letter, the January 6 Committee informed Biggs of four of an undisclosed number of issues it wished to discuss. 

The first issue concerned his participation in meetings to reject the election results, citing one House Freedom Caucus meeting which discussed a plan for former Vice President Mike Pence to refuse certain states’ electoral votes. The second issue concerned claims from Ali Alexander — an organizer of Stop the Steal, a campaign to resist the 2020 election results — that Biggs helped organize the January 6 protest. The third issue concerned Biggs’ communications with former President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that reportedly marked efforts to persuade elected officials in overturning the 2020 election. The fourth issue concerned Biggs’ name appearing among those requesting presidential pardons for involvement in election overturning efforts.

The committee said that it would use Biggs’ cooperation to “make informed legislative recommendations.” 

In raising each issue, the committee associated Biggs’ relation to Trump’s attempts to undermine American democracy and the Constitution, as well as Alexander’s calls for violence preceding January 6.

Biggs hasn’t issued a statement on the committee’s letter. 

The committee also requested cooperation from Congressmen Mo Brooks (R-AL-05) and Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13). Each congressman received a letter tailored to their involvement in the January 6 rally and Capitol breach. 

Brooks’ letter concerned his public remarks on a televised interview with CBS News and a press release in March. He claimed that Trump asked him to rescind the 2020 election results. Brooks said that he refused. The committee wanted to glean from Brooks additional evidence that Trump intended “to restore himself to power through unlawful means,” in a manner adverse to the Constitution. 

Jackson’s letter was the lengthiest. It included encrypted text messages from the founder and various members of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia organization formed to defend the Constitution against perceived violations from government. Those messages asked members that breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to locate and protect Jackson because he had “critical data to protect.”

The committee asked Jackson why those charged with seditious conspiracy were attempting to protect him. Additionally, they asked Jackson to expound on his participation in the rally preceding the Capitol breach and efforts to barricade the House Chamber during the breach.

Like Biggs, neither Brooks or Jackson have issued statements on their committee letters.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.