An Arizona State legislator Rep. Kelly Townsend has come up with a campaign slogan in response to her haters. The slogan won her both the attention of pundits, and the admiration of voters. Plastered across her vandalized campaign signs is now the message “Not endorsed by socialists.”
Townsend, who was the lone “no” vote against Governor Doug Ducey’s risky teacher pay increase bill, has become a target of unions. As a result, her campaign signs are routinely vandalized. Vandals, in violation of state laws, have done everything from carving up the small American flags that don her signs, to spraying painting over her name with the word “no” and a big X over her name.
Townsend’s travails caught the attention of the Twittershpere and popular conservative talk show host, James T. Harris. “Earlier this week, I asked whether or not ‘endorsed by socialists’ is a winning campaign slogan,” said Harris during his drive-time show on KFYI. “By the looks of the election results,” said Harris referring to the negative election results experienced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed candidates.
Related article: Is ‘Not Endorsed by Socialists’ A Winning Slogan?
Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, endorsed several candidates in the primary elections, but three out of five of those competing in the Tuesday races lost, according to the Daily Caller.
On July 4, vandals desecrated the American flags as part of their attack on Townsend’s signs. Shortly before the attack, a member of the progressive #Redfored movement posted on Facebook her desire to break the law. The #Redfored activist posted, “There are SO MANY Kelly Townsend signs near my home… I know it’s illegal to remove or deface them, but I’m so tempted to put little “truth” signs right next to hers! (I know that’s probably illegal too, but people need to know how awful she is!)”
#Redfored enjoyed early popularity with teachers across the state, who believed the movement was about increasing teacher pay. As it has become more and more apparent that the movement has little to do with the classroom and everything to do with electing progressives to office, its popularity has dwindled in the traditionally red-state of Arizona.
At the time Governor Ducey was cramming his education funding scheme through the Legislature, Townsend and her fellow lawmaker, Rep. Maria Syms, were calling out leaders of the #Redfored. Syms came under intense heat from forces on the left and right of the political aisle when she was the first to call the movement’s leaders, “socialists.”
After the most vocal leader, Noah Karvelis, made an appearance at a socialists conference, the heat subsided a bit, but the hate from the left did not. That hate though has seemed to earn the two women fans in their respective Republican primaries.
As Harris noted, Townsend’s declaration that she is “not endorsed by socialists” just might be her winning ticket out of her four-way primary. If she emerges victorious, it would not be surprising to see more declarations like hers pop up on campaign signs across the state.