Arizona attorney general race wide open in GOP primaries

The race for Arizona attorney general is wide open heading into Tuesday’s primaries, with six Republicans and a lone Democrat eyeing a job that could have an outsized role on issues like abortion and election integrity.

Term limits prevent Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, now finishing up his second four-year term, from running again. He’s seeking the Republican nomination for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly’s seat.

Brnovich has been mired in the debate over reproductive rights in Arizona since the U.S. Supreme Court this year overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that called abortion a constitutional right. In mid-July, he asked a judge in Tucson to lift a decades-old order that blocks enforcement of a near-total abortion ban passed before Arizona was a state, citing the high court’s ruling. A hearing is pending.

More court battles are expected while Arizona clinics hold off on providing abortions until there is greater legal clarity. A new law scheduled to take effect Sept. 24 would be less stringent than the original ban, prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

2022 Arizona Primary Elections: What you need to know

Abraham Hamadeh, a former Maricopa County prosecutor and intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and the other five Republicans competing for their party’s nomination have indicated they will defend whichever Arizona abortion law prevails.

But Democratic candidate Kris Mayes, an attorney and university professor who served for seven years on the Arizona Corporation Commission, said she supports abortion rights and doesn’t consider either of the two laws to be constitutional.

Mayes is running unopposed for her party’s nod. She calls herself the "lawyer of the people" and says she’ll fight for voting rights, the environment and the state’s most vulnerable people.

The GOP candidates have emphasized border security as their top issue over abortion or election integrity.

Andrew Gould, a former Yuma County prosecutor and judge who retired from the Arizona Supreme Court to enter politics, received last-minute endorsements this week from former Arizona Govs. Jan Brewer and Fife Symington, both Republicans.

The other four candidates for the Republican nomination are:

Dawn Grove, an attorney and manufacturing executive whose family built the PING golf business.

Lacy Cooper, a former state and federal prosecutor and Border Patrol section chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rodney Glassman, an attorney and member of the United States Air Force JAG Corps.

Tiffany Shedd, attorney and cotton farmer from Eloy, Arizona.