(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Ronna McDaniel, the embattled chair of the Republican National Committee, has received a major scare as the state of Arizona may verify the Patriot Party, Fox News reported.
McDaniel and the RNC said the Patriot Party had submitted faulty signatures, meaning that it could not legitimately partake in the 2024 elections.
They also accused Arizona’s Democrat secretary of state, Adrian Fontes, of conspiring in secret to facilitate the veritifation process.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Secretary of State Adrian Fontes Misuses His Office to Influence Elections
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) November 16, 2023
While Fontes allowed observers to witness the signature verifitation of the No Labels party, which Democrats sought to wage legal challenges against, he did not notify the major parties of the Patriot Party’s recent petition to be included on upcoming ballots, AZ Cenral reported.
McDaniel said for Fontes to allow it under the circumstances would be “a drastic failure to uphold the standards of his office.”
She threatened to sue Fontes if he does not stop the Patriot Party from becoming a serious player in Arizona politics.
“Upon review of the filing, it’s become clear that this party doesn’t even have the necessary signatures to make it onto the ballot,” she said.
The Patriot Party needs just over 34,000 signatures to appear on the Arizona ballot.
“If Fontes chooses to certify their petition in the face of these glaring issues, the RNC, NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] and AZGOP [Arizona State Republican Party] will take him to court and win,” McDaniel added.
Notably, the senate race between incumbent independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego figures to be a hotly contested one as it is—although it seems unlikely that the Patriot Party would run someone against the staunchly conservative Lake were she to secure the Republican nomination.
Nonetheless, the group could throw other closely watched races into disarray, such as the one to replace retiring Rep. Debbie Lesko in the solid-red 8th Congressional District, which is already shaping up to be a battle between two heavy-hitting right-wing candidates.
Former senatorial candidate Blake Masters, who is likely to bring with him a considerable war chest, has indicated he plans to run for the open seat in the northern suburbs of Phoenix. However, Jacob Chansley—better known to many as the “Q’Anon Shaman”—has also signaled his intention to run for the seat as a libertarian and may win over some due to his affiliation with the Jan. 6 uprising.
In the meantime, Fillmore has moved forward with recruiting candidates to run on the Patriot Party ticket in 2024.
“We are actively recruiting candidates. I have several people who are nameless… who said that if we become a party, they will join us,” he said.
“We will always probably caucus with the Republicans, but we will not be hamstrung by the Republican Party rules,” he added.
Under McDaniel’s leadership, the RNC has struggled in every election cycle since 2016—including the failed “red wave” of 2022, and the recent off-year elections in states such as Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.
As a result of her shortcomings, McDaniel has seen opposition from both outside and within the party, culminating in calls for her resignation.
I am sick & tired of this Republican Establishment that has made us a party of losers. Where is the accountability for years of losing: 2018, 2020, 2022 and now 2023? A week ago on the GOP Debate stage, I called on Ronna Romney McDaniel to resign. Now, I'm asking grassroots…
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) November 15, 2023
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report/