McCain-linked Republicans have continued to attack Trump-endorsed AZ State Senator Wendy Rogers after her speech at the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC). Rogers was censured by the Arizona Senate last week while her colleagues have used leftist language in labelling her as a “white supremacist.”
Arizona State Senator Kelly Townsend attacked Rogers for promoting “white supremacy” in a series of tweets. Townsend later called Rogers, a former fighter pilot, “un-American” for attending the CPAC rival event. Additionally, Townsend claimed Rogers was “advocating violence” for saying that traitors need to be “tried and convicted.” False claims of advocating violence were also included in the Senate’s censure of Rogers.
When you have someone pushing a white supremacist in your party, it is your duty to spend the time to tear it down. I resent having to do that and I will push back against anyone who allows it to happen and will not be guilty of remaining silent about anti-Jewish hate.
— Senator Kelly Townsend (@AZKellyT) March 4, 2022
Following the censure, scores of Rogers’ constituents wrote letters in her defense. Her constituents largely felt as though the state GOP was speaking for them and denying their right to stand behind their Senator and her efforts. “Up until Senator Rogers came on the scene, there was NO voice for us and it appears that with these actions you have made it pretty clear that we still don’t have but ONE voice and that is the voice of Senator Rogers,” wrote a Rogers constituent in a letter.
Ally Miller, who previously served as Pima County supervisor, also weighed in on the censure. “Rogers said that traitors need to be “tried and convicted,’” wrote Miller in a letter of her own. Isn’t that the way our criminal justice system works? I heard no encouragement of violence against anyone, yet you stated that in the censure. I heard Senator Rogers’ words that strongly encouraged the process defined by our criminal justice system.”
Now, Townsend is running as a primary challenger to Rogers. “Hanging out with white supremacists, endorsing them, and declaring them the finest of patriots is all something Wendy Rogers has a constitutional right to do. But good and decent people are also free to find it repulsive and un-American.” Townsend said in a statement announcing her candidacy.
The Townsend challenge is the latest plot from McCain-linked Arizona Republicans to minimize Rogers’ voice in the Senate. Rogers, who has been one of the country’s most fierce defenders of election integrity, has repeatedly said that fraud prevented a Trump win in 2020 and was a key voice in organizing the Maricopa County audit. As a result, the never Trump wing of the state GOP has ratchetted up its attacks on Rogers in recent weeks.
Some have even called for Wendy Rogers to be expelled from the Senate despite her having the backing of the district’s constituents. Former U.S. Rep. Matt — who has thrown his name in the state’s gubernatorial race — called for Rogers to resign her seat and said that he supports the censure. Salmon is one of a handful of AZ Republicans who have used leftist smear tactics in recent weeks. In November, Salmon claimed supporters of Arizona Governor Candidate Kari Lake were “Nazis.”
This week @KatieHobbs is talking about the economy, while media is covering @KariLake hanging around with Nazis.
Who do you think would win the general election?
We should all be genuinely concerned that GOP would lose statewide with Lake on the ballot.https://t.co/JT8IUgqh30
— Matt Salmon (@MattSalmonAZ) November 5, 2021