PHOENIX, AZ. July 23, 2010: Yet another of the most coveted endorsements in Republican politics has gone to Andrew Thomas. This time he has earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association over his opponents in the Attorney General race.
Thomas received an "AQ" from their NRA on their rating system. AQ represents, "A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues," according to the NRA website.
The NRA's endorsement of Andrew Thomas is highly unusual for a primary race and illustrates his strong support among conservative leaders and organizations in Arizona. The NRA's standard practice is not to endorse candidates in a Republican primary, except for incumbents with a clear record of supporting the Second Amendment. The NRA's departure from this nationwide policy in endorsing Thomas for Attorney General is a huge coup for the Republican candidate and one that shows the depths of his grassroots support.
Earlier in the campaign, Thomas earned the endorsement of former NRA president, Bob Corbin.
As Maricopa County Attorney, Thomas championed Second Amendment rights. He filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller in asking the high court to recognize the constitutional right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms. Other district attorneys from across the nation joined in this brief. The Court in fact recognized the individual right to keep and bear arms for the first time in this case.
Also, Thomas was the first prosecutor in the nation to establish a concealed-carry training course for prosecutors and employees of his office. Prosecutors and employees of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office handle approximately 40,000 felony cases a year and face threats from the people they prosecute. The NRA's publication America's First Freedom recognized Thomas' achievement in a feature article on the program.
The NRA's endorsement of Thomas caps off a string of coveted endorsements he has received from the leading conservative figures and institutions active in Arizona politics. These include Sheriff Joe Arpaio, State Senator Russell Pearce (author of Senate Bill 1070), and Arizona Right to Life.
Thomas has also been endorsed by notable Arizona law enforcement leaders including Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred, Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh, Mohave County Attorney Matthew Smith, Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, and the Arizona Police Association. Former Arizona State Senator Jonathan Paton and Congressman Tom Tancredo also have endorsed him.
During Thomas' time in office, crime rates plummeted. The 19 percent drop is more than twice the national rate of decline, in despite of an 11 percent increase in the county's population during that time. The illegal immigrant population has dropped by anywhere from 18 percent (Dept. of Homeland Security estimate) to 30 percent (Center for Immigration Studies estimate). Like the fall in crime rates, this dramatic decline in illegal immigration is far greater than the average in the rest of the nation.
Thomas has a track record of successfully defending illegal immigration crackdowns in our courts, including his successful efforts to prosecute illegal immigrants for conspiring to violate the state's human-smuggling law and to defend Prop 200's voter ID requirements and the employer-sanctions law, which he defended along with the Attorney General's Office.
If elected Attorney General Thomas has pledged to expand that office's prosecutions of illegal immigrants under the state's human smuggling laws. The office is not currently pursuing such prosecutions.
Thomas is married with four children. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Prior to serving as Maricopa County Attorney, Thomas served as an assistant attorney general for Arizona, deputy counsel and criminal justice policy advisor to the Governor, special assistant to the Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, and a deputy county attorney.
To schedule an interview please contact Jason Rose. For more information about Andrew Thomas, please go to www.ThomasforArizona.com.