PHOENIX — In a crowded field of Republican candidates vying for the party nomination in the Arizona Primary Election on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich believes he stands out from his GOP Senate contenders for a number of reasons.
“I'm the only person that has those middle-class Arizona values that's a principled ‘rule of law’ conservative, that can actually beat Mark Kelly,” Brnovich told ABC15’s Javier Soto in a one-on-one sit-down interview. “I think at the end of the day, Republican Primary voters recognize that.”
Brnovich, who has been the Arizona Attorney General since 2015, is up against four GOP candidates in Tuesday’s primary, including Trump-endorsed Blake Masters, businessman Jim Lamon, retired National Guard Major General Mick McGuire, and former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Justin Olson.
All five GOP primary contenders are looking to replace Democratic Incumbent, Senator Mark Kelly, in the State General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
Throughout his interview with ABC15, Brnovich discussed his views on immigration, abortion, and the 2020 election.
Brnovich proudly stands by his track record fighting illegal immigration.
“Regardless of what people think about immigration, you cannot have anarchy and chaos and cede control of our southern border to the cartels. And that's what Joe Biden's done,” Brnovich said.
Brnovich has penned multiple letters to President Biden criticizing his policies at the southern border. He also led a coalition of states in suing the Biden administration for planning to end Title 42, a policy that allowed asylum seekers to be turned away from the United States at the border.
While immigration has been a campaign pillar of Brnovich’s since he announced his candidacy in June of 2021, recent attention has been focused on abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, Brnovich announced Arizona’s 1901 pre-statehood abortion law was the law of the land. The law, which pre-dates Arizona’s statehood, carries a prison sentence of two to five years for any person who “provides, supplies, or administers… any medicine, drugs, or substance…” to a pregnant woman seeking an abortion unless her life is in jeopardy. It does not make exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
“In order to provide some clarity, we said we believe this is what the state of the law is,” Brnovich said. “It's the law that was recodified in 1977, it's 13-3603. And just this year, the legislature did pass a bill dealing with bans on abortion after 15 weeks. But in that bill, and it was a bill the governor signed, it literally says 13-3603 is not repealed and is still good law.”
“I have an obligation to enforce the law as it is,” Brnovich said. “When you're a prosecutor, whether it was a gang prosecutor, whether it was a federal prosecutor, even my time as AG, I always say you enforce the law as it is. So for example, I'm on record [saying] I think there should be exceptions for rape and incest and also to save the life of a mother when it comes to abortion. But that's not what the law says.”
A poll released by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) on July 29, 2022, showed Brnovich is in third place for the primary, trailing front-runner Blake Masters by 24 points with a four-point margin of error.
Masters, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and has received financial backing from tech billionaire Peter Theil, has openly stated he believes the former president won the 2020 election, a false claim that has been repeatedly debunked and disproven.
Brnovich was one of the first Republicans to dismiss the former president’s false claim the election was stolen when he appeared on Fox Business on November 11, 2020.
He stated that day, “It does appear Joe Biden will win Arizona,” and later stated, “Based on that lawsuit and the ballots that are being contested, and based on what we know happened in the past, there is no evidence, there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results were changed.”
When asked if he believed he did not receive the former president’s endorsement because he would not push the “Big Lie,” Brnovich responded, “I have told former President Trump, told anybody that will listen out there, viewers at Channel 15: If you care about, you know, energy independence, you care about low taxes, low regulation, you know, the rule of law, confirming good federal judges – I'm your guy,” Brnovich said. “But I'm not going to say something publicly or privately that either I don't believe or can't prove.”
ABC15 will be profiling candidates in many of the major races leading up to the upcoming Arizona primaries. For the latest Arizona election coverage, click here.