WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Trump Wins the Day as Ducey Dodges the #AZSen Primary

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 7, 2022
Contact: Hannah Goss, hgoss@azdem.org
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Trump Wins the Day as Ducey Dodges the #AZSen Primary

As “Trump Looms Large,” a “Crowd of Lesser-Known Republicans” Are Left to Duke It Out

PHOENIX — Last week, after months of attacks from former President Donald Trump over the 2020 election, Doug Ducey officially announced that he is not running for Senate. In response, Trump released an unsurprising statement taking credit for that announcement and reiterating his “kingmaker” role in the primary.   

In the wake of Ducey’s decision and Trump’s subsequent victory lap, there are two main takeaways: 

Former President Donald Trump is the central figure in the GOP Senate primary, and the current field will continue their race to the bottom to peddle his election conspiracy theories — an issue that has become a “purity test” — and win his approval:

New York Times: Ducey Confirms He Will Not Run for Senate, Despite McConnell’s Wooing

“[Ducey’s] candidacy, which would have tested Mr. Trump’s influence in a pivotal state, effectively hands Mr. Trump a victory without contest, the sort of win the former president’s intraparty antagonists are hoping to deny in a series of primaries this year.”

CNN: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey rules out US Senate bid and says he may endorse in GOP primary

“Former President Donald Trump looms large over the Republican Senate primary in Arizona, as candidates compete for his backing.”

The Ducey GOP recruitment effort — and ultimate failure — highlights the fact that the current field of C-list candidates is “decidedly weak” — so much so that the Chair of the NRSC forgot one of them:

AZ Republic: ‘I have the job I want’: Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will not run for the US Senate in 2022

“The extended recruitment by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reflected, in part, the perceived weakness of the existing GOP field of senatorial candidates.” 

“None of the current candidates has stood apart in fundraising or cut a prominent political profile, two factors that intensified efforts to draft Ducey.”

Bloomberg: Arizona Republicans Face Pricey Primary With Governor Opting Out

“Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s announcement that he won’t run for the Senate leaves a crowd of lesser-known Republicans in a bitter battle for the nomination…”

CNN: Donald Trump cuts off his nose to spite his face in Arizona

“Ducey is out […] Which leaves Arizona Republicans without their strongest candidate — by a lot.”

“At the moment, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich is probably the front-runner, but Trump has attacked Brnovich — he called the AG ‘lackluster’ — for not being supportive enough of the sham election audit conducted in Maricopa County. There’s absolutely no question that Trump has made it harder for Republicans to beat Kelly in the fall.” 



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