Primary could test strength of GOP factions

By Nick Phillips | Arizona Capitol Times 

Gov. Doug Ducey made an unusual move for the second time in as many weeks when he gave his endorsement to a Republican primary candidate who is running against a Trump-endorsed opponent.

The candidate Ducey threw his support behind on July 13 was Beau Lane, an experienced advertising executive who’s running for secretary of state. By late last year, former President Trump had already announced his pick in the secretary of state race: Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, a controversial conservative who has repeated debunked claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 election and was in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, during the Capitol riot.

In a tweet endorsing Lane, Ducey wrote: “The 2022 elections haven’t even been held yet, and already we’re seeing speculation doubting the results – especially if certain candidates lose. It’s one of the most irresponsible things I can imagine.”

Finchem has already suggested he won’t concede if he loses the race.

The governor’s endorsement illustrates a choice that Republican voters are faced with in several primary races this year, between a Trump-endorsed candidate and a more traditional conservative.

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