The Patriot Party of Arizona, which tried and failed to qualify as a new Arizona political party in 2021, has announced that its new leader is former Republican State Representative John Fillmore, and that he will be leading the party in its fresh effort to become an official party and compete directly with both the Republican and Democratic parties.
An email sent by the Patriot Party reported that Fillmore would also be leading an effort “to seek county recognition also, which would allow us ballot access for county races that are important positions in our mission of securing our elections; County Recorder, County Supervisor and County Sheriff.”
Fillmore has been in and out of the Legislature over the years, with his most recent loss coming in 2022, after some high-profile breaks with the conservative Republican majority on border security, election integrity, cleaning the voter rolls, and other issues. Fillmore, who claims to be a very conservative candidate in spite of those votes, also got in trouble for falsely claiming an endorsement from the conservative Republican Assemblies of Arizona.
Fillmore filed to run again shortly after the November general election, but it is unclear if his new position leading the effort to displace and defeat the Republican Party means an end to his simultaneously seeking the GOP nomination for State House.
“By the end of his last campaign, the only friends Fillmore had left were a handful of Patriot Party supporters, so this isn’t a surprise,” observed one active GOP voter, who added, “but he keeps attacking Republicans and now is all but leaving the party to start a new party, so I don’t see how he will have any success asking for Republican votes at the same time that he’s plotting their destruction.”