Opinion: Voters deserve a choice: Why we’re contesting board of supervisors seats in Mohave County

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By Lauren Gepford, Diane McMahan

May 22, 2024

Dangerous election deniers are currently in office, and Mohave County Democratic leaders are organizing to fight back.

By: Diane McMahan, Mohave County Democrats and Lauren Gepford, Director, Contest Every Race.

 

When people think of politics in Mohave County, it’s most likely they think of conservativism- after all, three out of four voters here are registered as Republicans.

As a leader within the Mohave County Democrats, however, I can tell you that the work we do to gather, organize, and take action proves we are actually in good company together with people with shared values. We are also very eager to get great people into elected office.

In doing research on the public offices at the county level, I was shocked to learn that the last time any of our elected officials—all Republican—had someone run against them from a different party was 2008. It is no wonder I often hear the refrain, “I thought I was the only Democrat here!”

As part of a national effort to combat the rising number of people running unopposed, we work with Contest Every Race to recruit candidates (including through their texting campaigns) throughout Mohave County. While it took a concerted effort to recruit Democrats to run for these seats due to the political climate, we are proud of what we have accomplished because voters deserve a choice.

We are louder and prouder than ever before- all thanks to going back to the basics and making sure we are represented on the ballot.

When voting begins this fall, voters in Mohave County will see something new on their ballots: Democrats are competing for four of the five Board of Supervisors seats up for election. These seats have all gone uncontested in recent memory, leaving voters with no choice as to who will represent them in their county government where critical decisions are made in regards to the quality of life here in Mohave County.

These elections matter for our communities, Arizona, and the entire country. MAGA extremists on our county Board of Supervisors continue to traffic in election denialism about the 2020 election and seem poised to go along with Trump’s anti-Democratic, anti-American agenda of claiming he wins every election he runs in, regardless of the truth. Recruiting a Democrat to contest every race on the ballot is a priority for good reason. For the Mohave Board of Supervisors, we recruited Brian McMahan (District 5) to run against confirmed election denier Ron Gould.

When former president Donald Trump personally endorsed Sonny Borrelli for District 3, we knew we were doing something right by recruiting Paul Smith. Cathy Wright and Lisa Pickard joined Brian and Paul by running for the open Board of Supervisor positions in District 1 and District 4, and have helped create an effective and inspirational blue wave throughout Mohave County.

It’s easy for people to lose hope and tune out when local politicians “win” again and again with no challenger. After struggling to gain momentum as Democrats, we are finally thrilled to be organizing and strategizing in ways that were previously out of reach- thanks in part to our partnership with Contest Every Race.

We know that by investing locally, Democrats reap rewards all the way to the top of the ticket which is critically important, since the road to the White House goes through Arizona.

The momentum we are building continues to be contagious. Ever since a local story on our efforts debuted, we have been receiving more interest than ever before from across the nation. More people approach me and ask how to get involved, and folks have reached out and offered to put signs in their yards.

These are small indicators of a much larger shift. We are thrilled for what the future holds.

Hope, it seems, is back.

 

Related: Judge sets $10,000 bond after Giuliani fails to appear for booking in Arizona fake elector case

Authors

  • Lauren Gepford

    Lauren Gepford is the Director of Contest Every Race. She comes to this work with 15 years of down-ballot candidate campaign and Democratic Party support experience and loves supporting local and underserved progressives

  • Diane McMahan

    Diane McMahan is a current accounting & finance consultant with extensive fire service and local government experience. She serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Mohave County Democratic Central Committee. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration—Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

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