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Abe Hamadeh took a donation from a fake elector, then gave him a leadership role

By: - September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Michael Ward joined his wife, Kelli Ward, at a primary election night watch party in Scottsdale in 2016. Both were fake Trump electors in 2020 and are facing subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice, and Michael has a leadership role in GOP attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh's campaign. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Republican candidate for Attorney General Abe Hamadeh accepted a $1,000 donation from a fake elector and then three months later appointed the elector to a position within his campaign

Dr. Michael Ward, the husband of Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, was one of 11 people who signed a bogus document in December 2020 claiming former President Donald Trump won Arizona’s Electoral College votes in the 2020 election.

The fraudulent elector document was organized by the Arizona Republican Party on behalf of Trump’s campaign, which encouraged similar efforts in other battleground states that Trump lost, as part of a plan to let congressional Republicans reject Joe Biden’s win and install Trump for a second term. 

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In June, Ward donated $1,000 to Hamadeh’s campaign. About three weeks later, the U.S. Department of Justice issued subpoenas to both Wards relating to the fake elector scheme.

Exactly three months after Ward made his contribution, the campaign announced on Twitter the formation of a Veteran’s Advisory Team to help guide Hamadeh’s campaign on veterans’ issues. Ward was one of the seven members.

Other members of Hamadeh’s advisory team had also previously given money to his campaign. Brad Miller, a former U.S. Marine Corp reservist, gave $520 in May. Eammon Urey, a master sergeant in the United States Army Reserves, contributed $2,602 in March. 

Hamadeh’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment about Ward’s involvement with the campaign, if his contribution had any impact and their thoughts on Ward’s conspiratorial beliefs regarding the election and others. Hamadeh’s campaign website also touts an endorsement from Ward. 

Ward is a known purveyor of Trump’s “Big Lie” and other conspiracy theories, many involving former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton. 

Ward has retweeted people who baselessly claimed that Hillary Clinton murdered her rivals and he has frequently said that late Sen. John McCain was tied to ISIS. Both of the Wards are former administrators of a Facebook group that regularly shared similar conspiracy theories, including the early form of the QAnon conspiracy theory known as “Pizzagate,” and spread Islamophobia

In 2019, he was accused of spitting in the eye of a former volunteer of his wife’s when she was a candidate for U.S. Senate because the volunteer went on to support her former political foe, Martha McSally. Michael Ward denied touching, pushing, threatening or spitting on the volunteer in an email to police, according to AZ Central.

Hamadeh has made the Big Lie central to his campaign, pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and saying that he would not have certified the 2020 election, despite no credible evidence of fraud that affected the results.

And he isn’t the only candidate who has worked with fake electors: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters has hired two fake electors, according to his campaign finance reports.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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