In 2020, I posted about some of the QAnon candidates running for the legislature. One in Tucson was Justine Wadsack.

From Media Matters, Here are the QAnon supporters running for state legislatures in 2020:

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Justine Wadsack (Arizona)

Justine Wadsack is a Republican candidate running for District 10 of the Arizona State Senate. She won the Republican primary on August 4 running unopposed and thus will be on the ballot in November’s general election. As The Daily Dot has reported, Wadsack — who is also a former congressional candidate — has tweeted and written out the QAnon slogan more than once. Despite that, Wadsack has since denied to the Phoenix New Times that she supports QAnon, saying that “everything about politics intrigues me, all sides.”

Wadsack insisted reporters are trying to link every Republican candidate to QAnon to sabotage their election chances.

“You are all working for the Democrats and your mission right now before the election is to try and pin every Republican in our nation on QAnon bullsh–,” she said. (See her tweets at Media Matters, you decide).

Wadsack, running against a longtime lawmaker in a district where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 13,000, was always a long-shot candidate.

Wadsack lost that race in a blowout. But now she is running again in a new district more favorable to Republicans after redistriciting this year.

Michael Bryan also posted, Justine Wadsack is Running for State Senate, But Doesn’t Believe Our Elections Are Real?

I would normally completely ignore her, but [Wadsack] said something at a campaign event recently that is symptomatic of the sickness in the GOP these days.

She said, “I don’t believe the elections have been real for quite some time…”

Really? Then maybe Bowers and Fann should hand over their gavels to the Democrats since their elections weren’t ‘real’? This is just one more example of how deep the rot in the GOP has gone: they are a political party that doesn’t believe elections are real. How exactly does that play out?

Today the Arizona Daily Star takes a deeper look into this QAnon election denier, now that she is running in a district where she actually has a chance of being elected because Republicans are a MAGA/QAnon cult now, and because of GQP tribalism. Think Sen. Wendy Rogers in 2020; it can happen. Far-right candidate defeats Arizona senator in Senate District 17 primary:

Republican primary voters from Pinal County, Tucson’s northwest side, far east side and Rita Ranch area are embracing the party’s MAGA wing, preliminary results for state Senate District 17 show.

With nearly all precincts reported as of midday Wednesday, Justine Wadsack, who described herself as an “America First” conservative, was poised to defeat Vince Leach, a state senator seeking a third term, by an unofficial margin of about 1,200 votes.

Wadsack, a real estate agent, captured 40% of the 25,605 ballots cast. Leach received 35.5%, according to the state’s elections website. A third contender, Robert Barr, received 24% of the vote. Results are not yet official.

Leach, 73, is the current state senator for District 11 and is the senate’s President Pro Tempore, the second-highest-ranking leadership position. He also serves as vice chairman of the appropriations committee and the finance committee.

Wadsack, 48, opposes abortion rights, the teaching of critical race theory and mask requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She participated in storming a Vail school board meeting last year to protest mask requirements. Her endorsements included the Arizona Tea Party; Purple for Parents, an online group formed in opposition to the Red for Ed movement; and a group called Tucson Trump MAGA.

She describes herself as a “Pro Trump America First” candidate and appears in election ads with Kari Lake, the Trump-backed choice for governor.

Wadsack will compete in November against Democrat Mike Nickerson, 72, of Tucson, a retired pastor (and Clean Elections candidate). The expansive district stretches from Pinal County down to southeast of Tucson.

The so-called Independent Redistricting Commission bowed to Republican pressure to manufacture a Republican leaning district in Pima County because Republicans were tired of losing to Democrats. This refutes any notion of “independent” in the commission’s name. The commission gifted Republicans a GQP-friendly district by including portions of the old District 11 in Oro Valley and Marana, and moving the Democratic voters of the old District 10 into a new disrict. This should have been a bigger scandal than the media treated it at the time. The so-called “independent” commission similarly moved Sen. Wendy Rogers from a Democratic registration edge district into a GQP registration edge district in Northern Arizona in a last minute move to protect her seat. (This violated the Commission’s mandate; it is not supposed to know nor care where an incumbent politician resides).

It is going to take a pro-Democracy coalition of Democrats, unaffiliated voters and Republicans who are sickened by the anti-democracy authoritarian MAGA/QAnon cult that has hijacked the former Party of Lincoln to come together to make certain that a candidate so wholly unfit for political office is not elected to office simply because of GQP tribalism, i.e., voting for the (R) behind the name. This is a poor excuse to end American democracy after 246 years. This goes for the entire Trump cult ticket in Arizona.

Pastor Mike Nickerson writes “In my lifelong work as a pastor, I brought together people with widely different world views to accomplish a common mission. I can do this for our state senate and help them focus on laws that will provide a prosperous future for all Arizonans.”

His platform reflects the moral values of Tucson and Pima County:

Education

Fully funding public schools so we can pay our teachers better. Right now, we are 50th in average pay and losing good teachers to other careers and other states. The funding is also needed to maintain our facilities.

Our economic future depends on an education population.

Personal Freedom

Preserving a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions with full doctor/patient privacy without legislative interference of her reproductive rights.

Water Security

Developing a comprehensive water plan, that includes surface and groundwater, to secure AZ’s future.

Voting Rights

Safeguarding your right to vote and have your vote counted honestly.

Quality Health Care

Providing access to quality health care for all Arizonans.

Gun Safety

Protecting our schools and children with sensible gun safety laws

Tuesday’s vote in Kansas, a deeply red state, to preserve that state’s constitutional liberty of a woman to have autonomy over her own body and to have access to safe, legal abortion indicates that this is going to be a decisive issue in November’s election.

Mike Nickerson, in his profession as a pastor, has had to counsel women in his congregation on abortion. In a recent op-ed, Pastor Nickerson wrote, Abortion is More Complex Than Pro-Life Or Pro Choice:

As a man, who will never have to decide whether to have an abortion, I hesitate to weigh in on this discussion. However, as your next state senator, I will be required to make laws that will affect medical care for every pregnant woman in Arizona.

As a pastor, I have counseled many women on this and know that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy is far more complex than the current, heated “pro-life,” “pro-choice” debate frames it. I also know that the implications of anti-abortion legislation, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, are equally complex and far-reaching.

Those who dogmatically say “yes” to all anti-abortion legislation dismiss the fact that some pregnancies put the life of the woman in great jeopardy. For example, a molar pregnancy occurs when an egg has been fertilized, but there is an abnormal growth of the cells that develop into the placenta. The result is a fetus that will not survive outside the womb. This condition can lead to cancer. In most cases, a simple D&C procedure is performed to remove the molar tissue. But this medical procedure is considered criminal under many anti-abortion laws. The same can be said for ectopic pregnancies, which are more common but present similar consequences. In both situations the longer the pregnancy continues, the more likely it is that the woman will die. In these cases, the “pro-life” decision is an abortion to save the woman’s life.

Others maintain that anti-abortion legislation will result in fewer abortions. This is a fallacy. Women will continue to seek abortions, but their options will depend on discriminatory economic factors. A woman who has the means can travel to a state that has upheld the right to choose, and have a safe medical procedure without any legal repercussions. Another woman, for whom travel or absence from work is unaffordable, may find that an unsafe, risky back-alley abortion is her only option.

Doctors should be free to advise pregnant women on health decisions and consequences, without suffering penalties from legislative mandates.

“Pro-choice” also means that if a pregnant woman sincerely believes that all abortions are wrong, she can choose to carry her baby to term, even if she is advised of high risk to her own health and life. She can weigh advice from her doctor and if she chooses, her spiritual advisor. But it is her life and her decision.

As your state senator, I will make sure that these decisions are made by pregnant women and their doctors, not by legislators, many of whom will never be faced with having to make this heart-wrenching choice about their own bodies.

Michael Nickerson is a candidate to be state senator in Legislative District 17. He is a first-time candidate. He has been a pastor, graduate school president and new church developer. In addition to his B.A. and M. Div. he has M. A. in urban geography and a Ph.D. in historical geography.

There is one clear choice for state Senate in LD 17, Pastor Mike Nickerson.




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