Raquel Terán (D-LD30), the State Sen. Minority Leader until February, launched her congressional campaign on Wednesday.
Terán is gunning for the seat currently belonging to Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03), who announced his Senate bid in January.
Terán’s initial campaign video cited her past leadership roles within the Democratic Party and the legislature, as well as her stint working at Planned Parenthood.
“Arizona is facing many challenges. Our housing prices are out of control. Our reproductive freedoms, including legal and safe abortion, are under attack. Our democracy is in jeopardy,” said Terán in the video. “The super wealthy continue to rig the system against our working families, and we desperately need comprehensive immigration reform.”
Terán repurposed her state senate campaign website into her congressional campaign website.
According to records available via the Department of Justice (DOJ) Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Terán received funds for her congressional campaign, “Raquel Terán For Congress,” as early as 2020 and 2021: $100 on December 1, 2020, and another $100 on January 2, 2021. Both amounts came from Felipe Carlos Benitez Rojas, who runs a political consultancy firm called Benitez Strategies.
Terán hadn’t announced a run at the time.
This latest announcement from Terán reflects a quick succession of career shifts to position herself for the congressional bid. Most recently, Terán stepped down as Senate Minority Leader in late February. State Sen. Mitzi Epstein (D-LD12) took over Terán’s leadership role.
Terán became the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) chair in early 2021. Then that September, she advanced from the House to the Senate by taking over the seat from former State Sen. Tony Navarrete, who was arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a male minor.
Terán was appointed State Senate Minority Leader for this session in November. Then in December, she gave up the ADP chairmanship.
Terán has also been carving out a political pathway that differs from the state’s top leader. She opposed Gov. Katie Hobbs’ pick for ADP chair, shortly after she’d stepped down for the role. Hobbs backed Maricopa County Board of Supervisors member Steve Gallardo.
Prior to ascending into a leadership role in politics, Terán served as a political activist with a major nonprofit backed by leftist dark money networks, Mi Familia Vota, as well as Promise Arizona. Terán joined Mi Familia Vota around 2006 to combat statewide efforts to combat illegal immigration.
Terán claimed victories over former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, former President Donald Trump, and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Within hours of U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s announcement on Friday that she is now a registered independent voter, posturing began for the 2024 election as the public learned just how deep the divide is within the Arizona Democratic Party.
Sinema took part in multiple media appearances to explain her decision, stressing her bipartisan efforts and focus on being an “independent voice” as Arizona’s senior senator despite being the Democratic nominee in 2018 against then-Sen. Martha McSally.
“Removing myself from the partisan structure — not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship,” Sinema said.
In another statement Friday, Sinema noted her independent minded approach “is rare in Washington and has upset partisans in both parties,” but she believes it is “an approach that has delivered lasting results for Arizona.”
Sinema’s sentiment that she has well-served her constituents is not universally shared by Democrats back home, where her lack of enthusiastic support for many Democratic candidates in the 2022 election cycle, including Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ run for governor, caused frustration for the Arizona Democratic Party.
Friday’s defection announcement was met by a good riddance style statement from state party leaders, who said everything except don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
“Senator Sinema may now be registered as an Independent, but she has shown she answers to corporations and billionaires, not Arizonans,” the statement read. “Senator Sinema’s party registration means nothing if she continues to not listen to her constituents.”
Some of Sinema’s votes in past years vexed key party leaders, but the discontent remained mostly under the surface until January. That is when the Arizona Democratic Party’s executive board censured Sinema for opposing changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules so that Democrats could push through voting rights legislation in advance of the 2022 election cycle.
Over the last two election cycles, the number of Arizona voters now registered as independents or no-party designated is almost equal to the number of registered Republicans, while independents outnumber registered Democrats by about 110,000 voters.
If Sinema seeks reelection in 2024, a run as an independent allows her to avoid a rough primary such as one U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego has been suggesting for months that he plans to put forth. Gallego issued a statement Friday that promoted his donation webpage while criticizing Sinema.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton decried suggestions that Sinema’s decision was somehow connected to a “post-partisan epiphany.” Instead, the former Phoenix mayor said it was “about political preservation” in light of Sinema’s recent polling numbers.
However, Sinema’s move was applauded by many Conservatives, including Larry Elder, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Sinema’s voter registration switch ensures far-left Democrats will lose any foothold they expected to have after the recent Georgia runoff gave Democrats a slim 51 to 49 majority in the Senate. However, she is expected to retain all of her committee assignments from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top-ranking Democrats.
Unlike fellow independents Sen. Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont) who formally caucus with Democrats, Sinema says she does not plan to caucus with any party.
Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.
We have always known that the left is strongly opposed to election integrity. In their hearts, they want voting to resemble how they select the best performers on American Idol—no security, no ID, no paper ballots, and no concern if someone decides to vote a few extra times.
Usually though, the left is pretty good at not saying this out loud. They couch their desires as supporting “voter access” or “expanded voting rights.” Very rarely do they reveal their true intentions of supporting open fraud in the system—yet they have now. And in open court no less…
The legal team under the Democratic Party’s top election lawyer, Marc Elias, is suing to keep Arizona’s voter rolls as they are, even if they’re rife with ineligible voters.
According to a lawsuit filed on Monday, the legal team argued that SB1260, which Governor Doug Ducey signed into law in June, infringed on the right to vote as well as the rights of free speech and association. SB1260 requires county recorders to cancel voter registrations for persons registered to vote in another county, and makes it a felony to help cast a vote for an individual registered out of state.
Elias’ team claimed that SB1260’s language made it too easy for individuals or organizations to petition for the cancellation of voter registrations en masse. They asserted repeatedly throughout their complaint that it’s common for voters to have active registrations in more than one county, or even state.
“Though voting in more than one state is illegal, it is perfectly legal to be registered to vote in more than one state or more than one county in Arizona. In fact, it is quite common,” argued the lawyers.
Additionally, Elias’ team expressed a lack of confidence in the ability of county officials to cancel voter registrations upon request. They insisted that people who move frequently would be burdened by the new election integrity law.
“Being registered to vote in more than one state or county is not prohibited, and for good reason,” argued the lawyers. “People do not ordinarily think to affirmatively cancel their voter registration when they move, and there often is no obvious or easy way to do so. Nor is there any assurance that a jurisdiction will actually cancel a voter’s registration immediately upon receiving a request.”
Elias’ firm filed suit on behalf of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, Voto Latino, and Priorities USA against Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and all county recorders. Elias Law Group attorneys Aria Branch, Daniel Cohen, and Joel Ramirez joined Phoenix-based Roy Herrera of the Herrera Arellano firm to file the lawsuit.
Elias’ team posited that the felony provision of SB1260 would criminalize voter registration efforts made by the three plaintiff organizations, or even by a voter’s parents in the case of college students.
Elias offers updates on this and other election-related court cases via his media platform established in 2020, Democracy Docket.
Another lawsuit was filed on Monday challenging a separate election law in Arizona, HB2492 which requires individuals to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. The Biden administration filed a similar lawsuit against the state early last month. The Scottsdale-based firm Papetti Samuels Weiss McKirgan and Washington, D.C.-based firm WilmerHale filed the latest lawsuit on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Arizona Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party’s “go-to lawyer,” Marc Elias, promised he would sue Arizona over its election integrity laws passed recently by the state legislature if Governor Doug Ducey signs them into law. Elias was sued by former President Donald Trump on Thursday for his role in the Russigate hoax.
Elias has an expansive and varied portfolio of nearly 30 years among Democrats and corporate capitalists like the major Big Tech companies Facebook and Google. He played an integral role in Hillary Clinton’s Russiagate hoax. He hired intelligence firm Fusion-GPS for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Fusion-GPS then obtained the debunked dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele, dubbed the “Steele dossier,” who relied on a Russian analyst living in Virginia, Igor Danchenko, for the majority of its information.
As AZ Free News reported earlier this month, Elias already submitted a motion to intervene in a case challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s no-excuse mail-in voting system.
Elias has filed suit in numerous states over their new election integrity laws. He characterized Arizona’s most recent legislation passed, HB2492 requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, as voter suppression and disenfranchisement. The bill mainly impacts those who register using federal forms, which don’t require proof of citizenship.
Other laws that Elias has watched under threat of lawsuit include: HB2237, HB2238, HB2170, and HB2243, which recently passed their Senate committees, and SB1058, which hasn’t been passed by the Senate yet.