Meet the candidates for Arizona attorney general

Kris Mayes (D), Abraham Hamadeh (R), and Michael Kielsky (L) are running for Arizona attorney general on Nov. 8. Incumbent Mark Brnovich (R) did not run for re-election. 

Mayes and Hamadeh filled out Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, which includes the question, What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

Mayes discussed climate policy in her response. Here’s an excerpt:

“I am the only candidate running for Attorney General to make fighting climate change a top priority. As Attorney General I will appoint a Climate Director within the Environmental Enforcement section who will take the lead on fighting climate change, expand the number of lawyers in the Environmental Enforcement section, and will certify any clean energy rules that the Arizona Corporation Commission passes, in the hope of establishing the requirement for our state’s utilities of a 100 percent clean energy standard.”

Hamadeh discussed law enforcement, gun policy, and creating an Office of Military Legal Assistance. Here’s an excerpt from his response:

“There’s a war on our police waged by the radical left. Not only are they defunding the police in cities across the country, but more importantly, they’re demoralizing our law enforcement officers. There’s been a 27% increase in the homicide rate in Arizona, criminals no longer fear any repercussions for their crimes. As Attorney General, I will restore LAW and ORDER and restore morale with our law enforcement officers.”

Mayes served on the Arizona Corporation Commission as a Republican from 2003 to 2011. The commission regulates non-municipal utility companies and oversees the incorporation of businesses, securities regulation, and railroad and pipeline safety.

Hamadeh is an Army intelligence officer and previously worked as a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

In 2018, Brnovich defeated January Contreras (D) 51.7% to 48.3%. Arizona last elected a Democratic attorney general in 2006.

Democrats won top-ballot statewide elections in 2020—Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Martha McSally (R) 51.2% to 48.8% in the special U.S. Senate election, and Joe Biden (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 49.4% to 49.1% in the presidential election in Arizona.

Arizona has a Republican governor, Republican attorney general, and Democratic secretary of state. The term triplex describes when one party controls all three of those offices. Sabato’s Crystal Ball wrote that all three offices have competitive elections in Arizona this year.

There are 22 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and 10 divided governments where neither party holds triplex control.

This is one of 30 elections for attorney general taking place in 2022. There are currently 27 Republican attorneys general and 23 Democratic attorneys general. 

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