Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (R) officially announced Tuesday that he is entering the race for U.S. Senate, aiming to take the seat of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-I). To get that seat, Lamb must overcome political rivals on both sides of the aisle, including a potential bid from Republican Kari Lake.
“The idea of Kari Lake in the US Senate is the worst nightmare of the crooked political machine — the same machine she has vowed to destroy. If the People of Arizona call on Kari to run for Senate, despite the wishes of the ruling class, she will. And if Kari runs, she will win,” said Alex Nicoll, spokesperson for Lake, in an email to The Arizona Sun Times.
Moreover, when asked how Lamb’s entrance into the race may impact the state, political consultant George Khalaf with The Resolute Group told The Sun Times, “All eyes are on Kari Lake to see what she’s going to do.”
The Sun Times contacted Lamb for additional comments but did not hear back before press time.
Lamb’s decision to run for Senate became apparent Monday when Federal Election Commission filings showed the sheriff had formed a campaign. Lamb did not take long to announce why he threw his hat in the ring.
“We need leaders in the country that aren’t too politically correct to protect us, and that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate,” Lamb said in an announcement video. “American lives are on the line, and we must fight to save them.”
As Pinal County Sheriff, I have been on the front lines of our border crisis. We need leaders in this country who aren’t too politically correct to protect us and that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate.
— Mark Lamb for US Senate (@sherifflamb1) April 11, 2023
Lamb mentioned his son, who passed away along with his fiancée Caroline Patten and their 11-month-old daughter in December after being involved in a car accident. Lamb also shared that his son suffered from drug addiction and issues of fentanyl abuse. Based on his personal experiences as a father and sheriff, Lamb claimed to be acutely aware of the problems people face in Arizona.
“I have personally carried the dead bodies from the ditches, rescued children from sex trafficking, and arrested gang members and drug dealers. I know what deadly drugs and the criminals pedaling them are doing to our families and communities. I know what it did to my family,” Lamb said.
Since the announcement came, Lamb has also opened his official campaign website, which goes into more detail on his goals if elected, all of which align with conservative values. As expected, his first target is to clean up the southern border by finishing the border wall, reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, and implementing a merit-based immigration system that lets people fairly enter the country.
Lamb said he would also crack down on the cartels by declaring them as terrorist organizations and “destroying them just like we did to ISIS.” In Arizona, a similar push has moved through the legislature.
Other goals from Lamb include defending the lives of the unborn, protecting second amendment rights, supporting veterans, and standing up to China and America’s other foreign adversaries.
However, it did not take long for Lamb’s other potential political opponents to start digging their teeth into him. The current Democrat frontrunner for the Senate race is Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03). Just hours after the announcement, Gallego blasted Lamb for allegedly refusing to condemn the January 6th riot.
Yet, to even face off against Gallego and potentially Sinema as a third candidate, he would need to beat fellow Republicans in the primary. Who will be the final candidates for this race is still up in the air.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by The Kari Lake. Background Photo “U.S. Senate” by U.S. Senate.