Thursday, September 21, 2006

Republicans give up on Graf in AZ-08

The Nation Republican Congressional Committee has decided to call it quits as far as Minuteman Candidate Randy Graf is concerned in Arizona's 8th congressional district. With polls showing the controversial candidate trailing Democratic rival Gabrielle Giffords in the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe, the NRCC has cancelled all plans to run continuous TV advertising through November on behalf of Graf.

Having funneled hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars to Graf's opponent, Steve Huffman, during the primary in an unprecedented attempt to keep the vigilante candidate from being on the ticket, the NRCC now sees Graf as a losing proposition and would rather use their resources on more promising races, conceding AZ-8 to the Democrats.

The NRCC will stop all advertising for Graf on Oct. 3rd rather than continuing through Election Day as originally planned.

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Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, declined to discuss the organization's advertising plans. "They haven't won anything until Nov. 7," he said.

R.T. Gregg, a spokesman for Graf, said he did not know about the developments. He noted that by law, the GOP advertising was undertaken independent of the candidate.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said, "There was a reason that Jim Kolbe wouldn't endorse Randy Graf, and that's why national Republicans are walking away."

Kolbe declined to endorse Graf after his primary victory this month, citing "profound and fundamental differences" on several issues.


Graf has been surrounded by controversy from the start of his campaign. The darling of the anti-immigration movement and founding member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp, he has drawn criticism for his extremist views. Having been endorsed by Minuteman founders Chris Simcox, and Jim Gilchrist, his campaign website includes a page called "Send a Minuteman to Congress" that features testimonials praising Graf's minuteman connections.

Now is the time to take the Minuteman Project to the next level and it is time to send a Minuteman to Congress to represent American citizens who want something more done about illegal immigration and the lack of border security. The Minuteman Project can’t go on forever. We need to have the federal government take over and do the job that they are obligated to do. Randy Graf is ready and able, the target has been identified, and the goal is achievable. To do it, this Minuteman needs YOUR help and continuing support.


Graf first came to national attention when as a state legislator he introduced a bill to revoke the states ban on carrying firearms in establishments that serve alcohol such as bars and restaurants. (view video)

The NRCC's decision to drop Graf comes just one day after reports came out that former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard and Louisiana State Rep. David Duke, had thrown his support behind vigilante candidate. Duke's official website had posted a link to Graf's campaign site along with a story about Graf's primary victory and it's ramifications on immigration issues reprinted from the US News and World Report.

Graf's campaign swiftly denounced Duke after the Arizona Democratic Party sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon suggesting Graf is associated with the controversial figure. The link on Duke's Web site is the only evidence offered to support the allegation.

"We have no ties nor have we ever had ties with David Duke or any of his racist crazies," said Graf campaign manager R.T. Gregg.

In their release, Democrats criticize Graf, who has taken a hard stance on border security, as having "extremist" beliefs that would attract Duke and other "racists."

But Gregg said that suggestion is false and offensive.

"Randy's position on illegal immigration has nothing to do with race, creed, color, national origin or religion," he said. "It has to do with whether or not we are a country that lives under the rule of law."

Duke, a self-described "white nationalist" who lives in New Orleans, has made several attempts at running for office, including president, as both a Democrat and a Republican.


Obviously Graf has become such a liability to national Republicans that they are willing to now concede the seat rather than spend buckets of money just to get dragged through the mud by a loose cannon. They tried their hardest to prevent the Graf candidacy from coming to fruition in the first place, and now have no choice but to cut him loose.


Alma Mia said...

So now how many degrees of separation are there between Tancredo and the KKK? Both endorsing the same candidate? Why am I not in shock?

Duke1676 said...

with friends like this:
(South Carolina League of the South rally)

Tom might as well just go to David Dukes next kegger.

Duke1676 said...

sorry, link didn't post correctly:

Pondering American said...

I am curious about this and I am still seeing conflicting stories even as to this late hour. I suspect if Graf can show real movements in the polls by Oct 3rd that might idea might be reversed. I think the PR on both campaigns on this will be critical the next several days

That being said I doubt David Duke hd much to do with it. No one can control what he does

Pondering American said...

Looking at the reports this morning its clear to me that Graf has till the 3rd to show improvement. Of course this could backfire and people will see him as standing up to the Establishment. This will be a fun race to watch the next few weeks