May 20, 2022

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Arizona Governor Says He’d Rather Have a White Nationalist in State Legislature than a Democrat

Arizona Governor Says He’d Rather Have a White Nationalist in State Legislature than a Democrat

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was questioned Thursday about his efforts to get Wendy Rogers elected to the state senate in 2020, and whether he has any regrets in light of how Rogers has been promoting white nationalist causes.

Arizona Mirror reporter Jeremy Duda asked the Republican governor his thoughts on Rogers during an event where Ducey announced a scholarship program for the state’s foster children.

“Are you still happy with that investment? Do you believe that was a good decision?” Duda asked, referring to the governor’s independent expenditures giving half a million dollars to Rogers’ campaign.

“What I need as a governor are governing majorities so that I can pass dollars into our social safety net so we can provide programs like this that will help children from all over our state… [and so] we can pass budgets that will put $8.6, $8.7 billion additional dollars into K-12 education,” Ducey claimed. “So that’s what I’ve wanted to do, is move my agenda forward. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, and [Rogers] is still better than her opponent, Felicia French.”

When Duda asked him to elaborate on this last point, Ducey reiterated that Rogers “is better” than French, the Democrat whom she defeated in 2020.

Rogers is scheduled to speak Friday at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), the Mirror reported last week. AFPAC is an annual gathering of far-right figures organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes, whom Rogers has praised in social media posts more than two dozen times, according to Left Coast Right Watch, an extremist monitoring group. Rogers promoted the event on Telegram last week, the Daily Beast reported.

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Rogers has intertwined herself with the Q-Anon crowd, has espoused racist “great replacement” theories, has called for Christian theocracy, and is a member of the paramilitary group the Oath Keepers. She is also a ‘Big Lie’ proponent, falsely claiming that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

In the past, Ducey has sometimes distanced himself those on the fringes of his party, like when he ignored then-president Donald Trump’s demand that he not certify the results of Arizona’s 2020 presidential election. But on Thursday, rather than take the opportunity to speak out against Rogers, Ducey used children as an attempt to justify why he cares more about his party maintaining power than upholding principles. It seems like as long as Republicans hold a slim 16-14 edge in the Arizona state senate, Rogers will be welcome to continue her gross behavior without much, if any, criticism from the governor.