State parties seek unity ahead of elections as dissenters vent at Ducey, Sinema

By Ronald J. Hansen and Katie Surma | Arizona Republic 

Arizona’s major political parties energized their activists on Saturday while seeking to finesse dissent from party purists toward some of Arizona’s top elected officials.

In Yuma, some at the annual Arizona Democratic Party meeting pushed a resolution “advising” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to more closely follow the party’s agenda. After a contentious debate, party officials put off the measure until their May meeting in a sign of the unsettled division.

In Phoenix, a smattering of protesters at the Arizona Republican Party’s annual meeting momentarily halted Gov. Doug Ducey’s address. The protesters held signs saying, “No Red Flag Law,” which they chanted as Ducey spoke. 

Red-flag laws refer to proposals to allow people to petition courts to temporarily take away guns from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks during an event hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry on May 17, 2019, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

Later, some in the crowd of more than 600 booed when Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., appeared on screen for a videotaped message. She has said she was open to considering red-flag laws and faces a lightly funded primary opponent, Daniel McCarthy, who has made the gun-rights issue a key line of his attack on her.


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