Oct 20, 2022 - Politics

Abe Hamadeh and Kris Mayes want to be Arizona's next Attorney General

Photo illustration of Kris Mayes, tinted blue, and Abe Hamadeh, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Rebecca Noble/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Mario Tama/Getty Images

Arizonans will elect a new Attorney General this year.

Why it matters: They will likely represent the state in legal issues pertaining to immigration, abortion and other consequential matters.

  • They will also be tasked with prosecuting consumer fraud and white collar crime cases.

State of play: Current AG Mark Brnovich ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. Senate seat, leaving his position open for the taking.

  • Republican Abe Hamadeh is a former Army Reserve intelligence officer and a political newcomer endorsed by former President Trump.
  • Democrat Kris Mayes is a former corporation commissioner. She was a Republican until she switched parties in 2019.

Abortion:

Hamadeh: He's said it's not the AG's job to create laws and that he would enforce whichever abortion laws the legislature passed. Currently, that's a ban on the procedure after 15 weeks.

Mayes: She has said she would not prosecute doctors or others who facilitate abortion. She's said she believes that the state's constitution, which includes a right to privacy, makes the 15-week ban and other abortion restrictions illegal.

Elections:

Hamadeh: He's consistently claimed, without evidence, that the 2020 election was rigged, and during an October rally with former President Trump, he said he would "lock up" and "put handcuffs" on people involved.

  • At a forum in September, Hamadeh said his detractors are too quick to dismiss election fraud claims and said an important part of the AG's role is to prosecute this type of fraud and "regain the confidence in our elections."

Mayes: She's said she would certify Arizona's fair elections, support voting by mail and prosecute people who harass or attack elections workers.

  • She said people like Hamadeh who spread false claims that the 2020 election was rigged are to blame for an increase in violence against election employees.

Police:

Hamadeh: He's got the endorsements of most law enforcement organizations in the state.

  • He's tried to paint Mayes as soft on crime because of her endorsement from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, which required endorsees to pledge they would not accept support from police unions.

Mayes: She told Axios Phoenix in July that she supports law enforcement, does not want to defund the police and oversaw securities investigators when she was a corporation commissioner.

  • She said she looks forward to working with police agencies across the state to combat human smuggling and drug cartels if elected.
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