As we begin 2015, a quick look back at 2014 reveals that at some point on the evening of November 4th, 2014, we successfully elected or re-elected our 100th candidate since 2004. By the time the evening was done, the count was 102 candidates we had successfully gotten across the finish line. That doesn’t include candidates for whom we provided products, like direct mail or automated dialers. Our list was for those candidates we consulted for directly. Not bad for just six cycles of work. It looks even better when we think back to the early days, when we had no calling card, no reputation, no website — just a passion for electing conservatives and a belief that if we introduced genuinely conservative candidates to the voters, great things would happen. Back then candidates hired us based almost entirely on faith and shared values.
Along the way we have made wonderful friends and gotten to fight shoulder to shoulder with so many of the great conservative activists that work hard to make Arizona the success it has become. Every so often, I hear conservatives grumble and ask themselves if the hard work is worth it, and if we are making a difference? Most often that frustration stems from failures at the federal level where Republican conservatives are growing in numbers but where they have not yet taken control of the system. So I like to remind them of just how far Arizona has come over the last ten years.
A review of the State Legislature from 10 years ago is a depressing read. It was dominated by liberal Republicans at every level and when a rare conservative gained a position of power he or she lacked a united caucus to pass consistently conservative agendas. Arizona was middle of the pack compared to the rest of the states on fiscal issues, life and family issues, 2nd Amendment issues, and more. Fast forward ten years of victories and the difference is striking. Arizona is a top-5 state on life issues, we are #1 on 2nd Amendment issues, we are #1 on school choice issues, we are a top-5 or top-10 state on most tax and economic issues, and we have led the way when it comes to fighting for secure borders and an end to illegal immigration.
The liberals that provide most of the media coverage in Arizona will not tell this story — most of them won’t even admit it is true. They find conservatives off-putting, they don’t like our values, our policies, or our successes. So they’ll try to portray us as odd or extreme, and in the process they will insult and alienate a plurality (if not a majority) of voters who continue to support and re-elect conservatives. No matter how bad things get for media properties, they haven’t yet admitted that their dogmatic resistance to these facts is slowly putting them out of business. Yet at the same time, the same policies they ridicule have Arizona out-performing most of the country economically.
So kudos to everyone who has been a part of our 100+ victories, and all of the other victories that conservatives have enjoyed over the last ten years. Thank you to the volunteers, thank you to the families, and thank you to the candidates. Each of you has played a vital part in these wins, which means that each of you has played a vital role in the growth and progress that Arizona has enjoyed.
We have a lot of work left to do, and liberal forces will always be trying to drag us backwards and undo what we have done, but we’re confident that together, the next 100 victories will be just as sweet and meaningful, for all of us and Arizona as well. On to the next Election Day!