Democrats at Udall Dinner Vow to Deliver Arizona to Joe Biden, Again

Gabby Giffords with her husband, US Senator Mark Kelly.

Speaking through thundering applause, US Senator Mark Kelly and North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Andrew Clayton called on Democrats at the annual Udall Dinner to deliver Arizona to President Biden in November.

More than 400 Democrats attended the banquet on May 11, 2024, at the Desert Diamond Casino, which is owned by the Tohono O’odham Nation, a stalwart supporter of the Democratic Party.

Kelly reminded the crowd that Democrats have brought back jobs to the US, have passed the first gun safety law in 30 years, and are fighting to restore abortion access nationwide.

“There are a lot of politicians who want to go backward, who would rather divide people rather than get things done, who want to take rights away rather than protect them. We know who these people are,” he said.

“And that’s what is at stake here in Arizona. A choice between:

  • Joe Biden taking us forward, or Donald Trump dragging us backward.
  • A patriot like Ruben Gallego or an election denier like Kari Lake.
  • A Republican House of Representatives held hostage by Marjorie Taylor Greene, or a Democratic House solving problems with folks like Kirsten Engel [candidate for US Congress in CD6].
  • A state legislature trying to further restrict our rights or one that will work with Governor Katie Hobbs, to build a brighter future for our state.

“What is at stake is the choice between living in 1864 and 2024,” Kelly said to a cheering audience.

“Gabby [Giffords] and I are working hard to support Joe Biden, [US Senate Democratic candidate] Ruben Gallego, Kirsten Engel, the ADLCC [Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee], and the Arizona and Pima County Democratic parties.

“But hey, folks, this is going to take all of us. This is no joke,” Kelly said. “I’ve flown in space four times and in combat nearly 40 times. But not once did I do that by myself. It took a team of people working together toward a common goal. That’s what we need now: you, all of you, showing up like you are tonight, believing that victory is possible and working together to make it happen.”

“It happened here before, in 2020 and 2022. It is going to happen again, but we have to work hard. So, Pima County Dems, you have always been there before for us, for all of us. And I know you’ll be there again. And when you are, Arizona is going to lead the way to a big night in November. This is Ground Zero. This is Ground Zero,” Kelly said.

Anderson Clayton of rural North Carolina was elected State Democratic Party Chair at the age of 25.

Calling out to young Democrats

Anderson Clayton, who was elected chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party at age 25, was the closing speaker.

Speaking in a rich Southern accent, she said, “What we’re talking about this year, what’s at stake, and what’s on the line, you need to go out there and talk to your friends and your family to say that it’s your rights on the line. Because this election cycle is not going to be won on a television screen or a phone screen. It’s going to be won peer to peer and door to door. It’s going to be won through the group chat and the network that you keep up with.”

“I’d like everyone in this room who’s young here to realize that you don’t have to wait your turn to run for office. You don’t have to sit down and shut up and be quiet. Actually, it is to take the reins, to stand up, and to say the Democratic Party is not a party of politicians. We’re a party of public servants. And how do I serve my public right now? How do I take that job opportunity or that field opportunity and make something of it?”

Clayton said, “Naw, being a Democrat is a damn good thing, to be honest with y’all. It’s the spirit of the party that says we believe in your bodily autonomy rights. We’re the party that believes in economic opportunity for everyone. We believe it doesn’t matter where you live, but you should have a future. That’s our party. And if you want to stand with them, you can stand outside for all I care, y’all.”

“And let me tell you what, with young people and the folks that we have rising in this party, we’re only going to continue to grow and to thrive and to become greater and to build a better future for every single person across this country, no matter where we live. So Pima County, I think y’all backs might be hurting a little bit because you can carry the rest of the country out there for us.”

“But we will ask y’all to do it again this year — and I need y’all to do it again this year. The South is going to come through, too. We will get our 270 [Electoral College votes]. Yeah. It’s so refreshing to see it.”

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4 thoughts on “Democrats at Udall Dinner Vow to Deliver Arizona to Joe Biden, Again”

  1. Abolish vouchers. Budget issue solved. Thanks to Repubs, Arizona is now supporting three school systems. The real Public schools. Privately run charters, many for profit. And massive tax payer subsidies for well off private religious indoctrination schools. Solve that John Boy.

    • Parents deserve educational choice and choice create competition, which makes all the schools perform better.

  2. Was that vow taken before or after the New York Times poll had Biden down by a whopping seven points?

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