Jul 25, 2022 - Politics

Trump, Pence stump in Arizona for rival gubernatorial candidates

Donald Trump speaking in front of a crowd.
Former President Trump speaks Friday in Prescott Valley. Photo: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Former President Trump and former VP Mike Pence visited Arizona on Friday for dueling events in support of the rival gubernatorial candidates.

What happened: Trump held a rally in Prescott Valley on Friday night with Republican frontrunner Kari Lake and several other GOP candidates he's backing in the Aug. 2 primary.

  • Earlier in the day, Pence and Gov. Doug Ducey joined Karrin Taylor Robson at a campaign event at a tactical equipment business in Peoria. Then the trio traveled to Tucson for a border security briefing at the National Border Patrol Council.

What they said: "You have an opportunity to vote for an outstanding slate of true conservative warriors, many of whom I know," Trump said on stage, The Arizona Republic reported.

  • In addition to Lake, Trump appeared on stage with U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters and promoted other candidates he's endorsed.
  • On Friday, he announced his endorsement of Eli Crane in the GOP primary for the predominantly rural 2nd Congressional District.

Pence touted Robson as a lifelong Republican while questioning Lake's conservative credentials, telling the crowd in Peoria, "Look, I’m always happy to welcome converts to the Republican Party. … But Arizona Republicans don’t need a governor that supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

The intrigue: Matt Salmon, who dropped out of the GOP primary for governor last month, is trying to persuade Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an ally from their days in the U.S. House of Representatives, to endorse Robson, NBC News reported.

The other side: Democratic candidates and supporters held a press conference before the dueling GOP events to try to make the case that there is no room for moderates in today's Republican party, The Arizona Republic reported.

What they're saying: “Make no mistake: Pence and his candidates are just as extreme, anti-choice and dangerous for Arizonans as Trump and his cronies,” Arizona Democratic Party chair Raquel Terán said.

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