With Republican primaries occurring around the nation, party members are at war over endorsements.
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Former Vice President Mike Pence has not backed all of former President Donald Trump’s contenders.
In certain elections, Trump and Pence support opposing candidates.
This is the second time in the last two months that Pence has diverged from Trump in the Republican primary.
The former vice president backed Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and campaigned with him outside of Atlanta the day before the state’s primary on May 24.
Kemp defeated former Sen. David Perdue, who was endorsed by Trump, in the primary.
Since Kemp certified the 2020 election results in Georgia, when Biden narrowly defeated Trump in a vital swing state, Trump had constantly assailed Kemp.
Now, both former leaders are traveling to Arizona for a contest between their respective gubernatorial candidates.
Pence and Trump will be in Arizona on Friday to campaign for the candidates they support, which will likely result in split-screen pictures of the former running mates who, according to rumor, may face off in the 2024 Republican presidential primary battle.
Former President Trump has endorsed a number of candidates in the primary election.
Trump will headline a rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona, approximately 90 miles north of Phoenix, for Lake and three other Republican candidates endorsed by the former president: venture capitalist Blake Masters for the Senate, Abe Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general, and state representative Mark Finchem for Arizona secretary of state.
Trump is not a fan of the current governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, because he certified Biden’s razor-thin victory in the southwestern battleground without questioning the ballots.
Earlier this month, Ducey made headlines by endorsing Taylor Robson, and further alienated the former president.
“Karrin Taylor Robson is the best conservative in the race for governor,” Ducey told Fox News last week. “I’ve said that I’m going to care very much about who my successor is. And Karrin Taylor Robson is the real deal.”
Trump is endorsing Kari Lake, a former TV anchor, who has embraced election reform and is against mask/vaccine mandates.
Lake was soundly in Trump’s camp during the last presidential election, having stated that when she will come up against a Democrat in the gubernatorial race, her opponent will have to resort to having “dead people” vote to win in the Nov 2 election.
Pence followed Ducey on Monday in endorsing his candidate, Taylor Robson who is a real estate developer and Arizona Board of Regents member.
Ducey has gone as far as to malign Lake and has questioned her status as a conservative.
Other candidates competing for the Republican bid for the governor’s office are Scott Neely, a businessman, and Paola Tullani-Zen, a businesswoman.
While Taylor Robson and Lake mostly agree on many of the top issues in the Arizona primary battle – such as illegal immigration and border security, the economy, and water conservation.
But while both have issues with Trump’s 2020 election loss to President Biden, Lake heavily supports the former president’s unproven claims that the 2020 presidential contest was “rigged and stolen”.
The rhetoric between the opposing candidates is being referred to as a “proxy fight,” and it seems Pence is giving it his all in supporting Ducey and Taylor Robson.
Pence will be teaming up with Robson Taylor for two events – one in the Phoenix area and a border security event near Tucson.
The former vice president called Taylor Robson “the best choice for Arizona’s future” and emphasized in his statement that “as Arizona Democrats pursue the reckless Biden-Harris agenda, Karrin Taylor Robson is the only candidate for governor that will keep Arizona’s border secure and streets safe, empower parents and create great schools, and promote conservative values.”
Taylor Robson is one of the two polling front-runners in the Republican primary in a field of four candidates, along with former TV news anchor Kari Lake, who for months has been supported by Trump. The winner of the Republican primary will likely face off in November with Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is the leading contender for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the one-time red state that has become a top general election battleground between the two major parties.
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Taylor Robson, highlighting the Pence endorsement, said, “He has been a warrior for the sanctity of Life; limited government; law & order; opportunity for all; & the knowledge that our freedoms are granted by God. I’m proud to have him on my team.”
She emphasized that the former vice president “has never wavered in his conservative beliefs & commitment to our Constitution, & left a rock-solid legacy as Gov to which I will aspire.”
The battleground state of Arizona seems to be a battle between those who think elections in the U.S. are just fine and no fraud exists, and those who want to expose the fraud.
I am honored to announce the endorsement of former Vice President @Mike_Pence.
He has been a warrior for the sanctity of Life; limited government; law & order; opportunity for all; & the knowledge that our freedoms are granted by God.
— Karrin Taylor Robson for Arizona (@Karrin4Arizona) July 18, 2022