WASHINGTON — Arizona is still suffering through one of the most widespread coronavirus outbreaks in the country thanks to Republicans’ failure to lead and implement broad public health standards. While the coronavirus raged across the United States in March, Republicans like Representatives Anthony Kern and Mark Finchem bragged about flouting public safety measures. Now, at least 5,653 Arizonans have died from the virus and over 218,000 have been infected, with no end in sight.
As The Nation reported, Arizonans know that the GOP caused this mess, and they’re ready for a change in leadership. A blue wave is on the horizon, and Democrats are poised to flip two seats in the House and three in the Senate and win the legislative majority for the first time in over half a century.
Throughout the crisis, the urgency of the situation has rarely been reflected in the words or deeds of Arizona’s politicians. In mid-March, when the state was under an 8 PM curfew to convince people to stay home, four Republican lawmakers—Anthony Kern, David Gowan, Mark Finchem, and Sonny Borelli—posed for a picture in a restaurant, smiling and pointing up at a clock displaying the time, 8:15 PM.
Ducey is serving his second term and will not be eligible to run in 2022, but even without the threat of his reelection, the left has been gaining ground in Arizona, despite the national perception of the state as a “Republican stronghold.” This shift is in part fueled by both the suburbs’ starting to defect away from the Republican Party and the number of Latinx voters who are slowly but surely rising. Similar to national trends, students and young voters in Arizona have also been a crucial force behind efforts to make the state more progressive.
“People are saying we need a change,” Volgy said. “We want government when it’s needed to function effectively.”