PHOENIX — Abe Hamadeh, an Army reserve officer and former county prosecutor, said his background as a military leader makes him well-qualified to handle the weighty responsibilities that come with the office of state attorney general.
Endorsements by Arizona police unions
During a recent announcement by police unions in Arizona to endorse Hamadeh, the 31-year-old vowed to work to improve what he called low morale among law enforcement.
“This is the 21st anniversary of 9-11,” Hamadeh said. “Remember that couple days, months, and years after 9-11? We used to have respect for our law enforcement officers. And look what’s happened.”
Hamadeh portrays himself as a pro-police candidate who will set a tone of “law and order” to the state. Endorsements by unions such as the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, the Arizona Police Association and Arizona Fraternal Order of Police represent a coalition that Hamadeh has built in recent months.
“The media are perpetuating this false narrative that law enforcement are targeting people of color,” Hamadeh said during the news conference.
According to the Pew Research Center, views about police vary across political and demographic lines and police departments continue to confront perceptions by minority groups of racial profiling, whether warranted or not, across the country. However in some cases, residents of minority communities want more police presence.
Running on Trump’s endorsement and election lies
Hamadeh emerged from a field of GOP primary candidates after earning the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Trump-endorsed candidates across the country have a common trait: they publicly stated the 2020 election was stolen, despite no evidence of widespread fraud.
Trump announced several months before the election he would declare it fraudulent if he lost, he attempted to overturn the 2020 election after it occurred, and he was the first president in history not to support a peaceful transfer of power.
Hamadeh has repeated false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election during his campaign and said he would not have signed off on the electors for Joe Biden in 2020.
“No, I would not have signed off,” Hamadeh told a forum this summer. “I mean I just watched ‘2,000 Mules’ the other day. You see these mules using gloves, I mean there’s so much fraud that we’re just discovering now.”
Fact checks by nonpartisan organizations about “2,000 Mules” demonstrated the movie did not prove widespread fraud and relied heavily on the word of the movie’s two creators, Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips.
Earlier this month, a chief investigator at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office recommended Engelbrecht and Phillips be investigated by the FBI and IRS.
The investigator said the two lied about evidence they purportedly had in their possession, and their public assurances that they turned evidence over to law enforcement were “patently false.”
Hamadeh’s campaign did not respond to interview requests for this story.
A career in law and the military
At 31, Hamadeh would be the state’s youngest attorney general. He said during his tour overseas, he gained valuable experience managing security cooperation between the U.S. and a foreign government.
“I’m used to challenges working with big bureaucracy, but I think that’s exactly what the attorney general needs. It’s a leadership role,” Hamadeh said during a recent debate.
Hamadeh’s resume includes:
- A University of Arizona law degree
- Serving as an Army Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve
- Serving 14-month deployment in Saudi Arabia
- Working three years as a prosecutor at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
- Board member of the Dean’s Council of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU
The issue of abortion
On the issue of abortion, Hamadeh says he supports Arizona’s ban because it is the will of the Legislature.
“I don’t want to make the law. That’s the job of the Legislature,” Hamadeh said.
Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks, not allowing exceptions for rape or incest.
However, the law also stated if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, which ended up happening, then Arizona’s territorial-era ban on all abortions would go into effect.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich was successful in getting a Pima County judge to lift a 1973 injunction, making the territorial ban the presumed law of the land, according to Brnovich.
“We have to understand the role of Atttorney General’s Office is not to set policy, so I currently agree with Attorney General Brnovich’s position that the law is the law,” Hamadeh said.
Crime and consumer issues
On prosecuting crime, Hamadeh states on his website he will make border security a priority and says he will create a task force unit within the AG’s office to target border crimes.
He wants to push the state Legislature to reclassify fentanyl as a “dangerous” drug, allowing for harsher punishment and enhanced sentencing.
Hamadeh says his experience at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office allowed him the opportunity to appear in court to uphold victims’ rights and “seek justice for the community.”
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