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How Far Right Will Republican Voters Go In AZ & MO?
538, Geoffrey Skelley and Nathaniel RakichAugust 1, 2022

How Far Right Will Republican Primary Voters Go In Arizona And Missouri?
We’re watching a dozen primaries in the two states.

After taking a month off (mostly), primary season is back in full force this Tuesday, Aug. 2. Voters in six states will choose candidates for the November elections, and there are so many compelling primaries that we’re previewing them in two installments again.

Today, we’ll take you through the 12 races we’re watching in Missouri and Arizona, highlighted by two open and very uncertain GOP primaries for Senate and two election deniers who could win high office in a key 2024 swing state.

Arizona’s 2022 GOP primary is all about 2020
Election deniers Kari Lake and Mark Finchem could soon be one election away from running Arizona

here seem to be an endless number of Republican primary races in Arizona that all hinge on two things: The legitimacy of the 2020 election, which was challenged more dramatically in Arizona than any other state, and fealty to Donald Trump.

State House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who testified to the January 6 committee about pressure he faced from Trump associates to unwind the 2020 election, has a serious primary challenge. The race to challenge Sen. Mark Kelly (D) features five Republicans — including state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, whom Trump supporters are still hounding to challenge election matters, and the Trump-backed election denier Blake Masters.

And Kari Lake and Mark Finchem have made Trump’s election lies a centerpiece of their campaigns for governor and secretary of state, respectively, the two offices that have the most direct influence on elections. They’ve formed something like an unofficial ticket, which has gotten a hearty boost from Trump himself.

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April 15, 2022

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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is split on whether to invite Democratic and Republican leaders from the legislature to address the commission, with a majority of members leaning against it.

Commissioners last month first raised the issue of whether the four partisan leaders of the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate should be invited to an AIRC meeting to share their thoughts on redistricting. Independent Chairwoman Erika Neuberg said the issue came up during a discussion with legal counsel.

Eric Spencer, the Republican co-counsel for the AIRC, noted that the Arizona Constitution grants the legislature the explicit right to make recommendations after the commission finishes the first draft of its legislative and congressional district maps. Starting that process early, he said, would “extend an olive branch prior to the draft maps being completed in order to create a more cohesive and less adversarial relationship.”

However, that idea met with a cool reception among some commissioners, and skepticism grew during the subsequent week.

Gov. Doug Ducey is ratcheting up the pressure on GOP lawmakers to reach an agreement on the budget, vowing not to sign any other legislation that reaches his desk until he gets a budget, and backing up his threat by vetoing 22 bills.

Ducey made the announcement in response to both the House of Representatives and Senate adjourning until June 10 after Republican legislative leaders failed to round up a majority to pass the budget deal they forged with the governor. The GOP has only a one-vote majority in both legislative chambers and Democrats oppose the proposed budget, meaning Republican lawmakers must vote unanimously to approve the plan.

“We have the opportunity to make responsible and significant investments in K-12 education, higher education, infrastructure and local communities, all while delivering historic tax relief to working families and small businesses,” Ducey wrote on Twitter on Friday afternoon. “Once the budget passes, I’m willing to consider some of these other issues. But until then, I will not be signing any additional bills. Let’s focus on our jobs, get to work and pass the budget.”