The Arizona senatorial campaign of Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, whose candidacy has been beset by the continuing series of revelations revealing her to be a radical leftist who only poses as a moderate, took another blow this week when the Arizona State Troopers Association withdrew its endorsement of her.
The association represents Arizona Department of Public Safety employees and retirees, and they were displeased that the association endorsed Sinema. Members told The Arizona Republic that the association’s executive board voted to endorse Sinema without consulting them.
Gregg Girard, an association member and retired sergeant, said some members were upset that the association endorsed Sinema. Dave McDowell, an association member and retired lieutenant, said the fact that the members weren’t consulted upset both them and him. He added that although the association is independent from the Department of Public Safety, endorsements might cross the border of propriety politically.
Michael Stouffer, a retired Arizona Department of Public Safety sergeant and a member of the Arizona State Troopers Association for 40 years, said he was “terribly disappointed … It seems quite clear that our board of directors was either naïve or either overlooked the opportunity to assess the sensitivity and importance of this particular election and how it might be perceived by the membership.”
On October 22, the association emailed members asking if they preferred to endorse Sinema or remain neutral in the race between Sinema and GOP candidate Rep. Martha McSally. The email read, “All members are encouraged to vote for the candidate they personally support. AZTroopers will refrain from any political statements concerning the race until the conclusion of the election.”
The members voted to stay neutral.
“The Troopers have spoken,” McSally campaign spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair commented.
A recent ad from the Sinema campaign mentioned the endorsement; the ad has been pulled. Sinma’s campaign had featured a press release touting the endorsement on its website; the press release boasted that stated the association recognized Sinema’s “strong record of supporting law enforcement.”
Sinema spokeswoman Helen Hare issued a statement after the association pulled endorsement: “We respect the association’s decision to remain neutral given the divisive tone of the race and appreciate their support for Kyrsten’s past three elections, as well as continued support from members and law enforcement officers across the state.”
The website for the Arizona State Troopers Association reads:
The Arizona State Troopers Association was established in 1958 and is “Dedicated To All DPS Employees.” AZTroopers membership is made up of entirely of DPS employees and retirees, sworn and civilian, and is the only organization that represents only DPS employees. AZTroopers Board is composed of sworn, civilian, and retiree leaders working together for the benefit of all DPS employees, its retirees, the DPS and the State of Arizona. AZTroopers is a labor organization which continues to assist members with benefits such as life and cancer insurance, legal services, and financial planning. Another one of the association’s main functions is to provide financial assistance to families of officers killed in the line of duty. AZTroopers also offers scholarships to members and their dependents to Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona.