And they’re off! The endorsement sweepstakes have begun in what will surely be a hotly contested primary to be the Republican nominee to replace Debbie Lesko in Arizona’s eighth congressional district.
State senator Wendy Rogers, a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force, has endorsed her fellow armed service veteran, Army Captain Abraham Hamadeh.
The conservative Flagstaff senator (R-LD7), who has become a rising star of the right, wrote on Twitter, “I strongly endorse Abraham Hamadeh for US Congress AZ-8. I have known Army Captain Abe Hamadeh for 12 years. He is a combat trained and tested Army officer with extensive overseas experience in the Middle East. Very few in Congress have Abe’s depth and breadth of geopolitical expertise. He is a MAGA-STRONG, TENACIOUS FIGHTER who loves his country. Pro-Trump, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Pro-Borders, Pro-2A, Pro-Election Integrity. We need Abe in Congress today! Elect Abe in 2024.”
It’s the opinion of this publication that most endorsements don’t matter that much. The ones that do matter are unexpected support from sources of uniquely devoted following. That’s why Republican candidates seek support from President Trump so aggressively. And while that has helped in deciding close primaries (see Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania), it arguably didn’t help much in the general or even weakened the endorsed candidate (see Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania). And that particular race proved something else — an endorsement can only carry a candidate so far. Trump dragged Oz across the finish line in a primary he for sure would have lost without the former president’s support. But nothing could save a candidate so deeply flawed he couldn’t overcome a stroke-damaged, behoodied Herman Munster (and Oz living in New Jersey probably didn’t help him woo Pennsylvanians).
The kind of endorsements that have really mattered are those that kosher a candidate who is suspect among a certain voting bloc. When people were worried about Obama‘s toughness, and even patriotism, an endorsement from highly decorated Republican Colin Powell calmed some of those fears. Trump himself has been helped by unlikely endorsements, as well, including Peter Thiel in 2016.
What will unfold in a contested Republican primary in CD8 will be a contest to show support among a wide variety of Republican supporters. This early endorsement from a popular and trusted conservative senator, sent a strong signal to others looking at the race that the right wing of the party is lining up behind Hamadeh, at least in early days.
I strongly endorse @AbrahamHamadeh @AbeWarRoom for US Congress AZ-8. I have known Army Captain Abe Hamadeh for 12 years. He is a combat trained and tested Army officer with extensive overseas experience in the Middle East. Very few in Congress have Abe’s depth and breadth of… pic.twitter.com/tO8LPdAb9d
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) October 19, 2023
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