(USA Features) Libertarian-minded conservative Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday he will run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly for a seat the GOP says is winnable next year.
“Trust and freedom aren’t just buzz words for me,” Brnovich said in a written statement. “I’m a lifelong prosecutor and I’ve been honored to serve Arizona as Attorney General for two terms.
“Every day, I fight on behalf of Arizonans, going toe-to-toe with elected officials, bureaucrats, agencies, and corporations. I’ve spent my career taking on the hard fights.”
Brnovich has earned the criticism of then-President Donald Trump over his handling of the 2020 election aftermath and for doing too little regarding the ongoing audit of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, the state’s largest encompassing Phoenix.
According to Politico, however, Brnovich said he and Trump have had “good conversations” recently, but declined to say if the former president will endorse him.
“Arizona was a big part and Brnovich must put himself in gear, or no Arizona Republican will vote for him in the upcoming elections,” Trump has said in recent weeks. “They will never forget, and neither will the great Patriots of our Nation!”
Brnovich becomes the third Republican to file for Kelly’s seat. Business owner Jim Lamon and Retired Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire also are running.
Republicans say that Kelly’s seat is winnable in the red-leaning state that has trended purple in recent election cycles. The other U.S. senator in Arizona is Kyrsten Sinema, and while she has a reliably liberal voting record, she has joined with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., to oppose getting rid of the 60-vote filibuster rule in an evenly divided chamber where Democrats hold the advantage with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.
“Mr. Kelly and I have a fundamental disagreement as to the size and scope of the federal government,” Brnovich noted this week. “I believe that governments are instituted to protect our rights, not give us our rights. I believe very strongly that you know, that we need to protect not only religious liberty, but our Second Amendment rights.
“I also believe that any time Washington, D.C. , you know, is collecting more taxes and spending more money, that’s less money that families have the ability to spend on everything from, you know, their kids to their groceries.”
Brnovich was a state and federal prosecutor, and he served as a judge advocate in the U.S. Army National Guard.