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Arizona Democrats launch 2022 campaign earlier than ever

By: - June 9, 2021 8:19 am

In 2016, Philadelphia hosted the Democratic National Convention. To commemorate the occasion, it commissioned artists to paint a donkey sculpture for each state. Photo by 7beachbum | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The Arizona Democratic Party says it’s 2022 campaign plans will outstrip the party’s record 2020 volunteer effort, which saw more than 34,000 volunteers contact voters more than 1.7 million times to support Joe Biden, Mark Kelly and other Democratic candidates.

And the 2022 Mission for Arizona coordinated campaign with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching Wednesday, a full 17 months before the election and the earliest the party has ever kicked off its organizing efforts.

“We’re taking this race really, really seriously. We know what’s at stake for Arizona,” said Sean McEnerney, Mission for Arizona’s campaign director.

The chief goal for Arizona Democrats in 2022 will be working to bolster Kelly’s re-election campaign. Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, won a special election in 2020 to fill out the final two years of the Senate seat that the late John McCain won in 2016. The winner of the race in 2022 will serve a full six-year term.

The seat is a top prospect for Republicans, and several GOP candidates have already entered the race, including former Arizona National Guard leader Michael “Mick” McGuire and businessman Jim Lamon. Others, like Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Congressman Andy Biggs and technology executive Blake Masters, are also considering running for the seat.

And in 2022, voters will decide who will be the next governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state treasurer. And Democrats also hope to capture control of the state legislature after falling just shy of winning both the state House of Representatives and Senate in 2020.

McEnerney said the 2022 Mission for Arizona effort will focus early on building relationships with young voters and Latino voters. By starting so early, he said the party will have three semesters to register Arizona college students, get them engaged in campaigns and encourage them to vote.

The 2022 coordinated campaign is starting a full seven months before the 2020 effort kicked off.

“Democrats are really excited and engaged, and we’re going to put in the work over the next 18 months,” McEnerney said

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.