[COLUMN] Stephen Richer for U.S. Senate? Article namechecks Maricopa County Supervisor and Rose Law Group Partner Thomas Galvin

By Robert Robb | Substack

Journalist Dennis Welch recently asked Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer whether he was going to run for re-election. According to Welch, Richer laughed and then said: “Yeah, I think I am.”

This surprised me, not that I don’t think Richer richly deserves re-election if he wants it. To the extent there are indispensable men at historic moments, Richer was an indispensable man in battling back against the lies and misrepresentations about the election results in 2020 and 2022 in Maricopa County, a charge he took on with vigor and skill even though he wasn’t in office when the 2020 election occurred.

Richer is very smart, a quick study, and highly disciplined and thorough. He comprehensively inventoried and refuted every election-related fairy tale the MAGA conspiracists could concoct or weave.

The surprise was that anyone who has endured the abuse and threats thrown at Richer and the Republican members of the Board of Supervisors would be willing to sign up for re-enlistment. They have all already done more than can reasonably, or even unreasonably, be asked of a human being in the form of public service.

However, I am left with this thought. Richer would undoubtedly be challenged by a MAGA conspiracist in the Republican primary for recorder. If he has the stomach for such a fight, his talents and fortitude might be put to higher and better use challenging Kari Lake for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

This is not to depreciate the importance of the county recorder position or race. In fact, the races for county recorder and the county board will arguably be the most important and consequential elections in 2024 for Arizona, despite still being a critical swing state for the presidency and control of both the U.S. Senate and House.

The MAGA conspiracists will undoubtedly mount a vigorous effort to capture control of the recorder’s office and the board, and thus control of the conduct of elections. The consequences of that, and knock-on policy implications, would have a seriously detrimental effect on the future trajectory of one of the nation’s most vibrant metro areas. The Valley’s somnolent and largely leaderless business community needs to awaken to the stakes and seriousness of the threat.

However, given the current contours of our two-party system, preventing MAGA conspiracists from capturing county government probably will require electing Democrats, hopefully sensible ones.

There is a counterpoint to this gloomy assessment that should be acknowledged. In 2022, Supervisor Tom Galvin, a pragmatic conservative, did defeat MAGA opponents in a Republican primary. So, perhaps, given a choice, Republican primary voters might not always make the wrong one.


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