July 14, 2024 6:15 am

Local News

The Arizona Republican Party Attempts to Hijack the U.S. Senate Green Party Primary  

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After a Presidential preference primary in March, Arizona is set to hold primaries for remaining state and federal offices on July 30. The race on everyone’s mind: the U.S. Senate. 

With incumbent U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I) opting not to run for re-election, it appears likely that the November matchup will feature Congressman Rúben Gallego (D-3) facing off against former TV anchor and 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake. But there will be a third name on the ballot, whoever emerges from the Green Party primary. 

On the ballot are Scottsdale activist Mike Norton and Yuma resident Arturo Hernandez. After failing to qualify for the ballot, Pima County Green Party Chair Eduardo Quintana will be running as a write-in candidate. 

Hernandez’s candidacy has come with controversy as accusations fly that Republicans have been caught trying to hijack the Green party primary for U.S. Senate. It’s believed that a Hernandez victory would help the eventual Republican Party nominee cross the finish line in November. With a recent history of very close elections in statewide contests, there’s the strong possibility of the Green Party nominee garnering enough votes to impact the election in a must-win state for both Democrats and Republicans. 

Volunteers in Arizona’s Green Party sued to keep Hernandez off the ballot, citing discrepancies in hundreds of signatures gathered on his petitions. And despite nearly 1,000 signatures being disqualified for not complying with state law, he was still left with 52 more than he needed to stay on the ballot alongside Norton. 

But concerns persist around Hernandez’s deep ties to Republicans. His campaign treasurer Chrissie Hastie is a longtime ally of Nevada Republican Governor Joe Lombardo and former Nevada Secretary of State candidate Jim Marchant, and his attorney, Republican Kory Langhofer, represented U.S. Senator Mitt Romney in 2012. 

Cody Hannah, co-chair of the state Green Party has said that “Most of us who are engaged enough to run for office have at least at some point volunteered and done some of the lower tier things that a lot of people do when they get into a political party.” There’s no history of Hernandez in Green Party records.

Green Party voters will head to the polls on July 30 to cast a vote that could have wide-ranging consequences this fall.