The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) slashed $474,280 from their Arizona ad buys after tweets surfaced from a public relations (PR) consultant for Arizona Democratic AG candidate Kris Mayes. The details of the spending cuts were independently confirmed by The Arizona Sun Times by sources familiar with the organization.
In the past, Mayes’s PR consultant Stacey Champion made numerous tweets attacking law enforcement and white people. Champion is white.
Trump-endorsed Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican candidate running against Mayes, called for Mayes to fire Champion on Wednesday. On Friday, when she still hadn’t, Hamadeh tweeted, “Kris Mayes still has that kook Stacey Champion who hates cops working for her. Poor judgment, zero leadership.”
Kris Mayes still has that kook Stacey Champion who hates cops working for her. Poor judgment, zero leadership.
— Abe Hamadeh for Arizona AG (@AbrahamHamadeh) September 10, 2022
Of the canceled money, $459,340 came from ads in the Phoenix area, $66,160 of which was devoted to Spanish language ads, and $14,940 for Spanish language ads in Tucson. In late July, DAGA announced it was launching a five-figure digital ad buy targeting GOP attorneys general candidates in key states over their stances on abortion, but left out Arizona. The launch mentioned Michigan, Nevada, and Texas as the targets.
A recent article on the left-leaning investigative news outlet Blue Tent expressed concern with Mayes’s lack of funding, explaining the situation. “As of August, Mayes has raised just under $600,000, having spent about a third of that money. By comparison, Republican attorney general candidate Dawn Grove, who came in a distant fourth in this month’s GOP primary, raised more than $960,000. Mayes’s opponent in November, Hamadeh, has already spent more than $1.8 million.”
Mayes finally raised over $1 million total, but according to Transparency USA, donations dropped significantly over the last quarter. Blue Tent contrasted her race to the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, noting Mayes’s race isn’t as optimistic since Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is ahead of Republican challenger Blake Masters in polling.
“Kelly’s race obviously cannot be compared 1:1 with Mayes’s,” the piece stated.
According to the voter engagement site I Side With, Mayes supports redirecting funding for state and local police departments to social and community based programs. The Sun Times asked Mayes to confirm that the information on I Side With was accurate, but did not receive a response by press time.
Hamadeh called on Mayes last month to reject an endorsement from Planned Parenthood due to the organization’s calls to defund law enforcement. According to Axios, candidates in Arizona seeking Planned Parenthood’s endorsement must reject financial support from law enforcement. Mayes told Axios she doesn’t support defunding law enforcement.
Mayes, an attorney who was a registered Republican until 2019, served for seven years on the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). She was appointed to the position by former Governor Janet Napolitano, who she’d served for as campaign press secretary. While at the ACC, Mayes co-wrote the state’s first first renewable energy standard. If Mayes defeats Hamadeh, she would become Arizona’s second lesbian to hold the position after Napolitano.
Mayes has no experience in the criminal justice system, and said she decided to run for attorney general in part due to disliking how current Attorney General Mark Brnovich handled voter fraud. She called for Brnovich to resign in May. She said during an interview with The Copper Courier, “Arizona has fantastically run elections. Wonderfully run elections. It should be respected.”
Mayes filed an amicus curiae brief opposing the Arizona Republican Party’s lawsuit to halt mail-in voting.
Mayes refers to concerns about voter fraud as “conspiracy theories.” She has been quoted saying, “We’ve never lived in a more dangerous time for our democracy.” She refers to “the fraudit” and “the big lie.” She told Democrats of Greater Tucson, “Who’s tough enough to stand up to the insanity that’s going on at the Arizona legislature? Which one of us is going to be strong enough to stand up and file lawsuits against these Republicans when they are engaged in flat-out unconstitutional behavior?”
Mayes’s main issue, which she has become nationally known for, is abortion. She declared that she will not prosecute Arizona’s law that limits abortions after 15 weeks. She said about the law and similar ones passed in other states, “I think our founding fathers would be appalled by these laws.”
A recent poll from OH Predictive Insights found that most Arizona voters want at least some restrictions on abortion.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Sierra Club, and other progressive groups have endorsed Mayes.
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kris Mayes” by Kris Mayes. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Wars. CC BY-SA 3.0.