Former President Barack Obama was coming to Phoenix on Wednesday to carry a rally for Democrats operating for some of the state’s high places of work. His go to comes lower than every week earlier than Election Day and as polls proceed to point out tight races throughout the poll.
A number of elected Democratic officers and Democratic candidates have been anticipated to attend the occasion at Cesar Chavez High School in Laveen Village within the southern half of Phoenix. The rally was scheduled to start out at 6:30 p.m.
Follow coverage all through the day of Obama’s campaign go to to Arizona right here.
Protecting abortion rights and voting within the Grand Canyon State have been key themes as statewide candidates made their pitches Wednesday night to an energized crowd within the fitness center at Cesar Chavez High School.
“Our ideas take Arizona forward and their ideas take Arizona backward,” Democratic candidate for lawyer common Kris Mayes mentioned, main the gang in a chant: “Forward, forward, forward!”
“We are going to win this election, friends, because we must win this election,” she mentioned. “American democracy runs through the state of Arizona in 2022. We know that. We are running against candidates up and down the ballot who have said they would not have certified the 2020 election.”
Mayes referred to as for a cheer for election officers who’ve endured an growing quantity of threats since 2020.
“We are not going to put up with the harassment and death threats,” she mentioned. “We’ll prosecute it when I’m AG.”
— Stacey Barchenger
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., informed a cheering crowd that Democrats are profitable proper now in Arizona, regardless of what polls would possibly say.
“We’re going to work and work until Election Day,” he informed the packed home at Cesar Chavez High School, which is in his district. “The reason we’re winning is because of who we are and who they are. We are the party of hope. We are the party of the American dream. We are the party of true unity here in Arizona.”
Gallego closed his roughly five-minute speech by main the gang in a “Yes we can!” chant for numerous objects like defending ladies’s proper to decide on, bringing jobs to Arizona and electing all of the Democrats on the poll.
Prior to Gallego, Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy, who’s operating for an additional time period, targeted in on the significance of this election. She mentioned she appears to be like ahead to serving one other 4 years and mentioned there’s a lot at stake this cycle, together with ladies’s rights and voting rights.
Incumbent colleges Superintendent Kathy Hoffman applauded U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly and President Joe Biden for his or her hand in Arizona receiving important money for public colleges over the previous couple years. Hoffman mentioned throughout her tenure she’s added a whole lot of psychological well being professionals to colleges throughout the state, expanded web entry for college students and created a brand new trainer residency program.
She urged individuals to vote and mentioned the state’s public faculty system should work for all kids, regardless of their pores and skin shade, language or immigration standing.
— Alison Steinbach
Alicia Smith, 76, from south Phoenix was at Wednesday’s rally “only to listen” to Barack Obama.
“I am hopeful that Obama’s credibility will translate to the other Democratic candidates being trustworthy in Arizona,” Smith mentioned. She believes that occasions like this could have occurred extra typically as a substitute of ready till lower than every week earlier than Election Day.
Victoria Lopez, 46, got here together with her daughter. A Gilbert resident, Lopez believes that displaying as much as rallies with household is necessary to inspire different individuals to “get out and vote.”
“A lot of our rights are on the line,” Lopez mentioned. “This year’s races in Arizona are really important because not only do they decide the future of Arizona but also the future of the country.”
And Verna Colwell, a Democrat and authorized assistant from Sun City, mentioned she is nervous concerning the upcoming election and Republican candidates.
“I think we should have been more aggressive a long time ago,” Colwell mentioned. She added that she is relying on the youth vote to get Democrats elected since they “don’t like people’s civil rights getting taken away.”
— Tirzah Christopher and Eryka Forquer
The crowd within the packed fitness center was energized, filling bleachers and the ground and cheering to songs like “Come on Eileen” and “Dancing Queen” as they waited for the programming and candidate speeches to start. Some held campaign indicators.
Sandra and James Cowart of south Phoenix introduced their two younger sons to the rally. Sandra, who mentioned she’s a registered Democrat, listed her high points this cycle as abortion rights, ladies’s well being and stopping faculty shootings.
“Really the reason why I’m here is because our democracy is at stake,” she mentioned.
Sandra had already stuffed out her mail-in poll, and James, who mentioned he’s an impartial, was nonetheless within the course of, though he mentioned he plans to vote for Kelly. He was significantly interested by listening to Kelly and Obama converse.
Across the fitness center, Carol Lanzotti of Peoria got here to the occasion with two pals. Lanzotti mentioned she obtained in line round 3:30 p.m., ready about two hours earlier than doorways opened. She mentioned she’s already voted, for Democrats, together with Kelly and Hobbs, and got here principally to listen to Obama converse.
Lanzotti mentioned she doesn’t wish to help anybody who Trump backs or anybody who denies election outcomes.
She mentioned she’s “very nervous” about who will win the Senate and governor’s races and is encouraging different ladies to get out and vote.
— Alison Steinbach
Former president Donald Trump referred to as right into a cellphone rally with GOP candidates for U.S. Senate Blake Masters and gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake on Wednesday night.
Trump heaped reward on Masters and Lake because the candidates who can cease the Biden agenda and crack down on the border. As is a standard theme at his rallies, Trump painted life as higher beneath his management than at this time.
Lake will “fight back hard against the failures and betrayals of the Biden administration,” Trump mentioned. Masters would “stand up to radical left Marxists which is exactly what we have now,” Trump mentioned.
Lake and Masters in flip praised Trump for his management.
“We’re just so thankful for all you did for this country and frankly I can’t wait to get you back in the White House,” Lake informed the previous president.
— Stacey Barchenger
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords is anticipated to handle the gang previous to her husband and U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly and former President Obama.
Giffords was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 and reelected in 2008 and 2010. She was amongst 19 individuals shot throughout an out of doors occasion she held close to Tucson at first of her third time period.
She suffered traumatic brain accidents and is now an advocate for gun management coverage.
— Alison Steinbach
A line of individuals 1000’s lengthy snaked round the highschool in Laveen Village the place Obama was schedule to talk on Wednesday afternoon.
People arrived hours early to see the previous president make his return to the Grand Canyon State, filling the fitness center at Cesar Chavez High School.
An overflow was set as much as permit a whole lot of individuals who wouldn’t match inside to observe Obama’s speech. People on the again of the road have been informed they might most probably not get in.
Amanda Villa, 40, from the Healthcare Rising is on the rally to not solely help the Democratic candidates however the Proposition 209, which might restrict collections on medical debt.
“A lot of Democrats who haven’t voted will hopefully do so after this event,” Villa mentioned.
Carly Rebuck, of Phoenix, mentioned she hasn’t given up on Arizona politics and believes that the state “has a lot of independent voters that are not going to fall within party lines.” Rebuck, who’s a volunteer with Mission for Arizona, has knocked on doorways to assist mobilize Democratic voters earlier than the upcoming election.
— Stacey Barchenger, Tirzah Christopher and Eryka Forquer
Not to be outshone by one other political titan’s go to to the battleground of Arizona, former President Donald Trump is about to name right into a phone rally Wednesday night to help Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake, and U.S. Senate hopeful Blake Masters.
The cellphone rally is scheduled for six p.m., about the identical time Obama’s occasion in Laveen Village is slated to get underway.
Trump has visited the Grand Canyon State 3 times this year, most lately in October to again Masters, Lake and different Republicans on the poll. Trump’s endorsement proved essential within the August main, with all of his anointed statewide candidates claiming victory.
— Stacey Barchenger
Ballot returns in Arizona thus far present present the stakes for former President Barack Obama’s last-minute journey to the state.
Democrats had a roughly 35,000 poll benefit over Republicans as of Wednesday’s depend of ballots already returned, the newest information supplied to The Arizona Republic confirmed.
That’s seemingly an uncomfortably small hole for Democrats as they issue within the GOP-driven battle on early voting, which performed out with a surge of day-of voting within the August main. Just a couple of quarter of the marginally multiple million nonaffiliated voters who obtained ballots have returned them as of Wednesday.
Obama’s go to may do double obligation, mobilizing extra Democrats to return their ballots and widen the hole with Republicans whereas additionally interesting to independents. Independents usually are swing voters who is probably not energized by both get together’s ticket and have but to return their poll.
— Stacey Barchenger
1 p.m.: Kari Lake’s Obama interview
Obama’s go to to the Grand Canyon State will enhance Democratic nominee for governor Katie Hobbs, however he has a connection to her firebrand opponent, too.
Kari Lake interviewed Obama in May 2016, when he was president ending his second time period in office and he or she was the nightly information anchor at Phoenix’s Fox 10. That was earlier than she left journalism and declared her bid for governor, clinching the GOP nomination in August.
At the time of their meeting, the presidential nominees for each main political events have been coming into focus, and Republicans within the U.S. Senate have been holding up Obama’s nomination of appeals courtroom Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lake requested Obama concerning the Senate holdup, to which Obama responded that “democracy only works when people play by the rules, where everybody is fair.” He accused the Senate of enjoying politics with the nation’s high courtroom.
It was a time when many doubted the business mogul and actuality TV star’s political gravitas, although he had secured the GOP nomination.
“Fill in the blank, though, Donald Trump will make America ____ if he’s elected,” Lake requested Obama.
“I haven’t thought too much about it because I don’t think Donald Trump is going to end up being president,” Obama replied.
“And you still stand by that?” Lake mentioned.
— Stacey Barchenger
It could also be Barack Obama visiting Arizona, however not less than one group backing Republican candidates in Arizona is aiming to maintain the concentrate on President Joe Biden.
“Barack Obama has never won Arizona, and the fact that he is here is a testament to the toxicity of Joe Biden that has rubbed off on Mark Kelly and Katie Hobbs,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Ben Petersen said in a Wednesday morning statement. “This election is a referendum on Biden’s abject failure on skyrocketing inflation, open borders and violent crime.”
The statement follows a national Republican strategy to tie Democratic candidates to Biden, whose popularity has tanked as inflation and economic woes affect the lives of many Americans.
The RNC linked incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly and Secretary of State and Democratic nominee for governor Hobbs, both of whom are in tight races, to Biden’s track record, saying they “have done squat to stand up to Biden.”
Republican challenger for U.S. Senate Blake Masters posted a video to Twitter on Wednesday morning striking a similar chord. Masters said Kelly and Hobbs are “stumbling” and “dragging Barack Obama out of retirement to come rally in Phoenix” to distract from Biden not being here.
— Stacey Barchenger and Alison Steinbach
President Barack Obama’s visit to Arizona on Wednesday brings a late-in-the-race spotlight to Democrats making their final appeal to supporters and independent voters ahead of Nov. 8.
As such, there’s a long list of candidates who will take the stage before the Democratic former president. But not all the speakers are Democrats themselves, offering a hint at a broader tone of the event as a whole.
Speakers include incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.; gubernatorial nominee and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs; candidate for attorney general Kris Mayes; candidate for Secretary of State Adrian Fontes; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy; and incumbent schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. Arizona Democratic Party chair and state Sen. Raquel Terán, D-Phoenix, also is on the agenda.
The lone Republican among the lineup is Mesa Mayor John Giles, who is an outspoken supporter of Hobbs in particular, calling her election-denying opponent Kari Lake, the GOP nominee, so “dangerous” for Arizona he crossed party lines.
— Stacey Barchenger