LAKE HAVASU CITY – Now that the Alabama Senate race is in the rear-view mirror, focus is shifting on other upcoming races – particularly the 2018 race to replace Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.
Havasu Republicans said Tuesday’s results shouldn’t affect Kelli Ward’s chances as she attempts to win the Senate seat. Ward, like Alabama’s Roy Moore, is being backed by former White House strategist Steve Bannon – along with a number of other high-profile Republicans.
Moore was beaten in Tuesday’s special election by Democrat Doug Jones, but Moore supporters note that Moore had an uphill battle because of multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
“I think the loss is a very sad deal because he was never proven guilty and I thought in the U.S. you’re innocent until proven guilty,” said Jaci Hamill, district III director of the Mohave County Republican Party. “I think it’s very sad that any allegations like that would come out when he was going to do his best to be elected and it gives you an awful lot of doubt that it’s valid at all.”
Hamill said she believed the allegations against Moore cost him the race in Alabama and that it would not impact Ward’s race at all, despite both candidates being backed by Bannon and Trump.
“We have to trust that voters know and understand the people they are voting for,” she said.
Terry Laufer, president of the Lake Havasu Republican Men’s Club, agreed in that he does not think Ward’s run would be affected by the outcome in Alabama because the allegations against Moore had nothing to do with Ward or her campaign. If anything, he said, Republicans have less to worry about now that Moore has lost.
“The simple fact is, if he had been elected, then the Senate would have had to turn around and call a special investigation into the allegations so that would have been a nuisance there,” Laufer said.
London Bridge Republican Women President Virginia Buckalew declined to comment. The Lake Havasu Republican Women’s Club was not immediately available to comment.
Both Laufer and Hamill believe Ward has a good chance of winning Arizona’s upcoming race. However, according to an AZCentral.com article last month, a poll showed Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema up by seven points against Ward in a hypothetical match-up conducted in August.
Kelly Lindsey, president of the Democratic Association of Havasu, said he believes Arizona is the right target for the Democratic Party.
“Alabama kind of lit a fire underneath a lot of Democratic members because they perceived Alabama to be the reddest of red and, if we can win there, the concept kind of goes around that we can win anywhere,” he said.
Ward was not immediately available to comment. On Thursday, she released a statement that focused on national security policy.
“For America to be safe, we must have a mindset of leading with ‘peace through strength,’” stated Ward. “Our country’s would-be adversaries must not only know America possesses the will – but also the military capability – to defeat any enemy, on any battlefield. Strong national security begins with border security, but it also requires funding and building a 21st century military, developing new missile defenses and re-examining our immigration programs. These important steps must be taken to continue to strengthen our national security.”