[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Editor of The Green Valley News Sun. It was originally published on 7/21/2022.]
Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh said on Twitter this week that he’d trade “decades of experience for one ounce of courage.”
That’s an acknowledgement that he has precious few legal credentials but, apparently, some guts.
Only, there’s not much evidence of that right now.
Hamadeh, a Republican, has gone silent since questions were raised about a loan that showed up on his campaign finance filing last week. I’ve called and emailed his campaign several times. Nothing.
What’s the problem? On March 21, his brother Waseem Hamadeh loaned $1 million to the campaign. On April 4, it was repaid.
Those dates are significant, though Hamadeh has forced us to speculate a bit since he’s too busy tweeting and ditching candidate events to get back to us.
And, it should be noted, those who are speculating the most are his fellow Republicans, including Congressman Paul Gosar and state Senate President Karen Fann.
Here’s Gosar’s take on it.
He points out the loan was made just in time to be included in the first quarter campaign report. Having more than $1 million in the coffers looked great for Hamadeh, and on April 4, he sent out a tweet about it — boasting he had $1,062,579. Only, he worded it like this: “AG candidate Abraham Hamadeh raises over 1 million.”
Raises? When $1 million was from a loan by a family member?
That’s like rich people claiming to hit a home run when everybody knows they were born on third base.
Later on April 4 — same day, mind you — Hamadeh repaid the loan to his brother, leaving him a pauper by election campaign standards. But we wouldn’t know about the repayment — and his paltry donor support — until July 15, when the second quarter report came out.
By that time, two significant things had happened — early voting was well underway, and Hamadeh had secured former President Trump’s endorsement.
So, was Trump duped? It sure looks like it. Trump likely wouldn’t have attached his name to a candidate who wasn’t raking in cash from a broad base.
It appears Hamadeh sent out the “I’m a millionaire” tweet to get the attention of the Trump people. Only, he wasn’t a millionaire. He just has a well-off brother who likes to share. For two weeks.
Gosar, certainly no stranger to controversy himself, is not a disinterested bystander. He has already announced his support for AG candidate Rodney Glassman (who actually has raised the most in the six-person race) but promises he’ll support the winner of the GOP primary.
As for Hamadeh, we can only guess he’s pacing a secluded hallway someplace counting the days until the Aug. 2 primary is over. He was leading — just barely — in a poll three weeks ago but two-thirds of voters still hadn’t made up their minds in the AG race.
But Hamadeh has a bigger problem. According to his July 15 campaign report, he has less than $15,000 in the bank.