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Abe Hamadeh greets residents at the Thunderbird Senior Living Center, including three just shy of 100 years old.

CD8 Candidates Out in Force on Memorial Day Weekend

Retail campaigning isn’t glamorous, but often decisive

By Arizona Globe Staff, May 27, 2024 2:58 am

Politics isn’t glamorous. Despite the campaign jets and network buys associated with presidential campaigns, candidates running for state offices or Congress mostly have to get out there in person and earn votes one at a time. That means small rooms retail campaigning, talking to real voters and showing real interest.

In the 8th Congressional District, the most hotly contested Republican primary in the state, the GOP hopefuls were out and about this Memorial Day Weekend. So the Globe checked in.

Abe Hamadeh visited a facility for the elderly in Glendale, where he met with veterans nearing triple digits. “Abe was special guest at thunderbird senior living today to honor these amazing vets there,” Thunderbird Senior Living’s Executive Director, Michael Brown, told the Arizona Globe. According to Brown, “Abe Hamadeh, a candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, will join us to honor these heroes. Mr. Hamadeh is eager to meet the veterans and share his appreciation for their service.”

“We are proud to honor the following veterans,” said Brown, referring to:

Jack Barnett, Age 99

Eugene Krazeski, Age 98

Robert Sinclair, Age 99

A spokeswoman for the Hamadeh campaign told the Globe, “These brave individuals have served our nation with honor and distinction, and we are privileged to celebrate their incredible contributions and sacrifices.”

Ben Toma addresses a room of engaged citizens in Peoria. (Facebook)

Another Congressional hopeful, Ben Toma, posted on Facebook about a modest retail event he attended in Peoria. “Wonderful meet and greet out in Peoria last night! Thank you to the hosts and everyone who came out to support my run for Congress.”

The photo, evidently taken by someone either very tall or standing on a ladder behind the television, shows the House Speaker addressing a group of 20 or so individuals who came to hear his plans for the district.

Blake Masters has been focusing more of his campaign’s resources on television advertising and his campaign Facebook account reflects a visit his young family took to the Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix, where the mint green Continental alone is worth the price of admission.

Former Congressman Trent Franks, not a big social media guy, hasn’t posted in a few weeks, but still earns credit for a strong and heartfelt — though apparently not widely read — tweetstorm denouncing the Biden Administration’s shameful decision to delay a weapons shipment to Israel (a decision the Administration thankfully reversed under pressure a few days later).

Finally, Sen. Anthony Kern is attempting some political jiu-jitsu as his social feeds have filled up with posters featuring his mugshot as an “Indicted Trump Elector” and he appeals for help to “fight against a weaponized government.”

This is the reality of retail politics and it’ll look a lot like this until the primary on July 30, 2024.

With his campaign selling merch featuring this image, Anthony Kern is deploying a strategy similar to the one that propelled Donald Trump’s mugshot in Georgia to iconic status.


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