Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Will Michelle Reagan's friendship with Christine Jones affect the outcome of the #AZ05 race?

The Arizona political scene was jolted out of the beginning of its Labor Day weekend on Friday night when the CD 5 race between Andy Biggs and Christine Jones suddenly became too close to call. It went from a Jones-37 vote margin to a Jones-6 vote margin to a Biggs-9 vote margin in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Biggs won the race when all the ballots were counted (by 9 votes), but the proceedings are by no means over. There will be an automatic recount when the results have been canvassed, and lawsuits sure to follow. Christine Jones spent almost two million dollars to buy this seat on Election Day, and she will not be leaving any money on the table in her attempts to win this seat in court.

Though the Arizona Secretary of State’s office doesn’t have as much of a role to play in this election as the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, it still has a small part. It is here – at the Secretary of State’s office – where Jones might have a leg up on Andy Biggs. Jones and Secretary Michelle Reagan appear to be close friends and share a strong sense of mutual respect and admiration towards one another (see social media posts below).

Also, Reagan just hired a new employee – Garrett Archer – who has singlehandedly given the Jones’ camp one of it’s arguments to contest the election in court. Archer, a data and analytics guru, could not hide his dismay and disbelief of the quickly-closing vote total between Jones and Biggs throughout Friday night. One other AZSOS employee was also considered as a possible Jones’ campaign staffer just before the former GoDaddy executive jumped into the race this past spring.

Michelle Reagan has had a rough two years as the Arizona Secretary of State. She cannot afford another topsy-turvy election on her hands – much less claims of using her official office to benefit a friend in one of the closest elections in Arizona history. Michelle Reagan must go above and beyond to show the Arizona public that she will remain neutral and impartial towards both sides in this ongoing saga. Failure to do so would be catastrophic to her future political career and to the integrity of the election process.

Reagan’s Friendship with Jones:

Garrett Archer Tweets:

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