Thomas Hawthorne / The Republic / USA Today Network
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich holds a press conference in his Phoenix office regarding the lawsuits against two major vaping companies on January 7, 2020.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich officially announced a campaign in the Senate on Thursday for a general election clash with incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.
Brnovich, who was elected the state’s top law enforcement official in 2014, enters the race as a frontrunner in a somewhat crowded group of Republicans to face Kelly, who is running for a full six-year term. next year after winning the Senate seat last fall. But former President Donald Trump, who is certain to feature prominently in the GOP primary, has already lined up against the state attorney general for “doing little” to verify Arizona election results, despite no evidence of fraud.
A sign of how Brnovich plans to woo the Trump base, his announcement video focuses on how “confidence” in everything from security to the economy to voting is the “cornerstone” of our republic “. The video features clips of President Joe Biden and Kelly claiming that they have “not” respected the trust voters place in them and that they are the reason “the mistrust runs deep.”
“Confidence and freedom are more than words for me,” says Brnovich, stressing that he is the son of immigrants and that he served in the National Guard. “I have devoted my entire career to upholding the rule of law and fighting for justice. ”
He adds: “It is time to take the fight to the United States Senate. We need a conservative from Arizona to Washington who stands up for us and stands up for our values. … I’m going to cut the political noise and do what’s right for Arizona.
Trump is not mentioned in the video, but Brnovich is wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt that says, “Make America Grateful Again”.
Kelly will likely be one of the most targeted Democrats in 2022, two years after winning the special election to fill Senator John McCain’s Senate seat. A former astronaut and husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Kelly won the race with more than 2 points, but Republicans hope they can capitalize on historic trends that make it easier for the White House party to win races in the mid – subsequent courses.
Trump will be a factor for Brnovich, however, with the former president making it clear that he plans to be active midway through 2022, using his power with the Republican base to back candidates who he says will be loyal to issues that they care about, like passing restrictive election laws.
Trump, who fully supported a so-called audit of election results in Arizona’s Maricopa County, recently criticized Brnovich as someone who “has so far done little on voter integrity and the 2020 presidential election scam “.
He added that “our country needs” Brnovich to “step it up”.
Democrats pointed to the rifts between Trump and Brnovich in their response to his entry.
“Brnovich’s announcement means the Arizona Republican Senate primary will be unpleasant, expensive – and long,” said David Bergstein, spokesperson for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, in connection with a statement in which Trump qualifies Brnovich from “dull”.