Warnings about a fragile democracy hit home for some Arizona voters as election deniers compete for key offices amid signs of deep voter anxiety over both the economy and the future of the country.
The Arizona Republican Party fielded just two candidates for statewide office, a feat it repeated for state Senate and House seats, two state Supreme Court seats and a U.S. Senate spot. The party’s candidates in those races were far-right social conservatives who pushed a virulent anti-immigration message and pushed conspiracy theories about the government and President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
In the end, the party failed to take a single Senate or House seat for the GOP. But it managed to secure two open seats on the Arizona Supreme Court, a victory that is helping to shape the makeup of the state’s most influential court. In addition to the Supreme Court, the party fielded candidates in the U.S. House primaries. In some Arizona districts, voters will head to the polls in less than a month.
“This is a time of uncertainty for Arizonans,” said Republican congressional candidate Matt Salmon, who has campaigned on a platform of making immigration easier.
In the Republican primaries, voters overwhelmingly chose candidates who pushed conspiracy theories about how the government was working to destroy the economy. The Republican candidates in those races included Tom Horne, a Tea Party and conspiracy theorist in the state House race. Horne’s candidacy came after he appeared on Fox News and denounced the national Democratic “blue wave” and the president’s health care law as socialist.
Horne has said he believes the federal government is using “voodoo economics” to destroy the economy. He said he also opposes health care legislation that would expand the nation’s Medicaid program for low-income adults.
“There’s no truth to a single word of what Obama or Democrats are doing,” Horne said in his campaign statement.
The Arizona Republican Party endorsed and helped fund Horne’s