Right-wing sheriff in Arizona announces bid for US Senate
Mark Lamb supported QAnon-promoting influencers and has a history of extremist positions against democracy, abortion rights, and gun safety.
Mark Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, announced on Tuesday that he will seek the 2024 Republican nomination for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an independent who gets her committee assignments as part of the Democratic majority. His record is one of extremist affiliations and right-wing policy positions.
In an announcement video, Lamb touts his work “on the front lines” of border security and says, “We need leaders in this country that aren’t too politically correct to protect us, and that’s why I’m running for United States Senate. If Washington can spend $100 billion defending Ukraine’s borders, we can finish the wall and keep our own communities safe.”
He called for using the military to destroy Mexican drug cartels and vowed, “I’ll stand up to the woke left and the weak politicians in Washington, secure our border and support our law enforcement, defend our Second Amendment and the right to life.”
In February, the progressive research group Media Matters for America reported that Lamb has multiple connections with QAnon, the debunked conspiracy theory movement. These include a January appearance on the QAnon-linked show “X22 Report,” where he claimed to be a follower of the program, and autographing a copy of his own book, “American Sheriff,” for a QAnon influencer using the movement’s slogan “WWG1WGA,” short for “Where we go one, we go all.”
After Joe Biden won both Arizona and a majority in the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election, Lamb boosted election denial conspiracy theories.
“I can only go off of what I see, and what I saw during this election season does not compute with what the vote — that what we’re seeing with right now,” he told the right-wing One America News Network on Nov. 12, 2020. “We see enough inconsistencies and enough disconcerting information, across this country and especially in some of the swing states, that we should look into it.”
He defended the pro-Donald Trump insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, saying the rioting wasn’t their fault or Trump’s, but Hillary Clinton’s.
The Arizona Republic reported that Lamb told a pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6: “This isn’t about Donald Trump, although we want him to be our president. I think that we clearly see that there’s some issues with the vote. But this is about the other issues that have happened. The Hillary Clintons who have gone unpunished.”
He told Politico Magazine in 2021: “Just because somebody was there doesn’t necessarily mean they’re guilty. I guarantee you [the rioters] are very loving, Christian people. They just happen to support President Trump a lot.”
Politico’s story noted his opposition to any restrictions on gun rights. At a 2016 campaign appearance at a gun shop, he told patrons, “Hopefully every pay day, you guys are here spending money. The more guns you buy, the better.”
“The Second Amendment is what protects the Constitution,” he said in a 2020 video opposing a bill to restrict assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Lamb ran for sheriff in 2016 on an anti-abortion rights platform, promising to “protect all stages of human life, from conception to natural death.”
In May 2022, he reportedly shared a social media meme saying, “Imagine if you were able to kill someone who was an inconvenience to you & get away with it… oh yeah it’s called abortion.”
“This administration is undermining the rule of law. They are aiding and abetting the cartels and the human trafficking and drug trafficking into this country,” Lamb falsely claimed at a July 2021 rally hosted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group designated an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group’s founder, the late John Tanton, was a eugenicist who aimed to preserve “a European-American majority.”
But Lamb’s own commitment to the rule of law has been inconsistent. After Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey issued a stay-at-home order early in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Lamb unilaterally refused to enforce it. “We are here to protect the people from government overreach and we are here to protect their rights,” he told Fox News that May. “I felt like an order like this, to arrest people, to cite them, was going too far.”
Other Republicans are also reportedly considering running for the Senate seat, including unsuccessful 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, unsuccessful 2022 gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, unsuccessful 2022 attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh, and unsuccessful 2022 Senate candidate Jim Lamon.
In a statement on Monday, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Nora Keefe said:
Arizona Republicans’ Senate primary dynamics are getting messier by the day. Whichever candidate eventually makes it out of their intraparty brawl will be badly damaged – and we look forward to the Republicans spending the next year exposing the flaws in each of their candidates, and ensuring their eventual nominee will once again be badly out of step with the voters that decide Arizona’s general election.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is also running for the Senate seat, tweeted on Tuesday: “Mark Lamb claims he loves “law and order,” but he refuses to condemn the attack on roughly 140 officers who were injured or killed in the January 6th insurrection. He is a threat to our democracy and unfit for elected office.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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