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Republicans gather in Prescott, celebrate Election Day eve to boost voter turnout

The long awaited 2018 midterm elections are here, and candidates are using every minute to reach out to voters as they approach the end of the campaign trail.

Arizonan Republicans last night gathered on the steps the historic Yavapai County Courthouse to rally Republican voters and boost voter turnout.

The rally was attended by almost all the Republicans seeking a statewide seat. This included Secretary of State candidate Steve Gaynor; Attorney General Mark Brnovich; State Treasurer candidate Kimberly Yee; Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Frank Riggs; and Governor Doug Ducey, as well as U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Martha McSally.

Many of them – such as Gaynor, Riggs, and McSally – are in close races that will come down to the number of people who show up at the polls.

McSally, who won her congressional race in 2014 by less than 200 votes, said she knows firsthand that all votes matter.

“Honestly, I’m just so grateful for your support and I’m so humbled to be here and be before you tonight, but you know what, we still have some work to do,” McSally said. “Send out some emails, do some Facebook posts, whatever else you can do. Take some people to the polls because it’s really going to come down to turnout right now and every last vote really does matter.”

According to Gov. Ducey, “the country is watching Arizona to see what is going to happen in this United States Senate race. There’s a reason these out-of-state billionaires are coming to Arizona. They believe that they can turn the United States Senate blue and they’re dreaming that they can do it through Arizona. Well, I’ve got news for them, they can keep dreaming.”

One of the main talking points was the man behind Proposition 127, the clean energy mandate that will drastically increase utility prices. The Arizona GOP believes California billionaire Tom Steyer is attempting to turn Arizona into a “carbon copy” of his state and is doing so by attacking Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

“You gotta be tough to be an Arizonan,” Brnovich said. “We’ve dramatically increased the number of criminal prosecutions. We’ve gone after those that are trafficking in the most vulnerable people. What’s the reward for fighting for federalism? For Arizona sovereignty? Some California billionaire decided and said I’m one of his top targets. We do not want to ‘Californicate’ this state.”

“Arizona has this ruby red reputation and I’m proud of it, but I think we need to remember President Donald Trump only won Arizona by three points,” Ducey reminded the crowd. “Those 200,000 that I like to brag on that have moved here, many of them are Californians. So, I want to say to those Californians, welcome back to America and remember that you left California for a reason. We want to protect our low tax, business friendly environment in the state of Arizona.”

The steps of the Yavapai County Court House are historic in more ways than one. Senator Barry Goldwater announced his post-GOP convention presidential campaign and Senator John McCain announced his presidential candidacy on the courthouse steps. McCain then ended every campaign of his there as well. To honor his legacy, Cindy McCain and Senator Jon Kyl spoke on his behalf.

“[I] wish I would’ve had my husband with me tonight because it was such a tradition for our family,” McCain said. “It means a great deal to me to be here, where I’ve always been on an election night, with my husband. So, you allowing me this opportunity to say hello and goodbye to this great tradition means a great deal.”

She addressed both the candidates and the attendees telling them that win or lose, Americans need to come together to make the country a better place.

“Win or lose, we need to figure out how we can come together, work with our allies, and our rivals, and help make this wonderful country better than we found it. [John] felt responsible for helping find solutions to America’s problems and [was] ready to work with anyone to get it done. Good luck to all you, and tomorrow let’s greet the new day and get back to work for the state and for the country we love,” she said.

“Many friends have said, ‘What’s it like to go back to the Senate?’ I will tell you is one thing I’ve noticed is that with John McCain not there, there’s nobody really to hold everybody accountable. That was one of the things he did very well. He was a presence,” Kyl added. “We have a wonderful state and a great slate of candidates running for statewide offices. We’ve got to work very hard to maintain control of the House and Senate here in the state of Arizona.”

Today is election day and the polls will be closing at 7 p.m. To find your polling location click here.

Emily Richardson

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