State Senator Kelly Townsend confirmed rumors and announced that she will run for re-election, putting her on a collision course with fundraising champion State Senator Wendy Rogers. The winner of the primary is virtually assured of victory in the general election, making this race the one to watch in Arizona this August.
Both candidates run as conservatives, although Townsend has a better and longer conservative record. Rogers is famous for choosing Jeb Bush for President over Donald Trump, although she has since played the part of Trump Loyalist once Bush was bounced from the race.
Both are frequently attacked by the media – Townsend for her early anti-vaccine and anti-mandate positions, and Rogers for her association with, and defense of, white supremacists.
And both are embraced by Donald Trump, who endorsed Rogers before she was drawn into Townsend’s district, and who encouraged Townsend to run for Congress earlier this year, telling a crowd that she would do “an incredible job.”
Rogers has a clear advantage on the money side of things however – she is considered an unstoppable machine when it comes to fundraising, and she uses every issue as a chance to grow her email and donor lists. Her campaign spending has long been criticized both for dishonest attacks, even leading to a lawsuit being filed by a family modeling agency Rogers accused of child trafficking, and for the amount of campaign money that flows through a family-related business. But money is still the mother’s milk of politics and Townsend can expect nonstop attacks from Rogers during the next five months.
“Rogers doesn’t tell the truth when she campaigns, she finds things she can lie about or distort, and then she spends so much money on those lies and distortions that voters have no chance to figure out what the truth is.” said one voter who tried to warn people about Rogers’ technique during her rough primary with conservative Republican State Senator Sylvia Allen in 2020. “I still remember all of the law enforcement groups telling to her get out of the race in 2018 when she was telling those lies. And if anything she has only gotten worse since then.”
For her part, Townsend’s official statement made it clear that she won’t be backing down from the fight. Townsend addressed Rogers’ recent scandals by writing “Hanging out with white supremacists, endorsing them, and declaring them the finest of patriots is all something Wendy Rogers has a constitutional right to do. But good and decent people are also free to find it repulsive and un-American. America was founded on ideals that are far better than that, our Republican Party was forged by the long and bloody fight to preserve our founding ideals, and today’s Republican Party is the party of every American, regardless of their ethnicity or national origin.”
Townsend also wrote: “I have a long-standing record of being there for my constituents. I believe what sets me apart is my ability to take care of the folks I represent, as well as others in the state, with impartiality and regardless of their party affiliation or background. I have a solid conservative voting record, and a far-reaching record of defending people’s God-given rights. I will run on that platform and am confident the voters will know they are voting for a true public servant. I’m proud of my record, both as a legislator, and as a human being. I’m glad to be able to give voters a choice this August, and I look forward to hearing from all of them along the way.”