Equities: Primary election results show shifting priorities

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Equities.com reported that Joe Arpaio, who was once a symbol of Arizona’s hardline stance on illegal immigration, finished last in a three-way race for a Senate nomination in Arizona. In Maricopa county, where he was sheriff for nearly a quarter-century, he received less than 18% of the vote.

Joseph Garcia, the director of the Latino Public Policy Center at Morrison Institute, said Arpaio and Trump’s diverging political fortunes were a reflection of Arizona’s fast-changing electorate, which is becoming younger and more diverse. The median age of white Arizonans is 43 while the median age of Latino Arizonans is 26.

Though Latinos are an increasingly influential electoral force, the long anticipated political sea change has yet to arrive. Republicans hold every statewide office in Arizona and Trump carried the state in 2016, albeit by a much smaller margin than the most recent Republican nominees.

But Garcia says the rejection of the two most anti-immigrant candidates by Arizona Republican primary voters, among the most conservative in the nation, was a sign of shifting priorities.

“Business development and economic growth are the top issues now, not immigration,” he said, noting that a national backlash to a so-called 'show me your papers' state law in 2010 had shown the economic and political consequences of anti-immigrant policies.

“We are ahead of the rest of the country,” he said. “We’ve already gone through the growing pains that the rest of the nation is experiencing right now.”

READ: Joe Arpaio, Arizona's maverick former sheriff, faces end of political road