Jeanne Kentch, the chairman of the Mohave County Republican Central Committee, said most conservative voters in the area are still committed to Mr. Gosar. Yes, people are concerned about inflation and housing shortages and impending water shortages due to climate change and uncontrolled groundwater drilling. But she said his far-right conservative views were the most important factor in earning her vote.
“He’s the only one who would guarantee America first,” said Mrs. Kentch.
Chuck Coughlin, an Arizona political analyst, said challengers like Mr. Morgan were not just fighting Mr. Gosar, but were going against the DNA of most Republican primary voters. He said the challenger campaigns would likely fail.
“Those Republican primary voters believe the election was stolen,” Mr. Coughlin said. “The more extreme the candidate is, you will be rewarded for that behaviour. Because that is the constituency that votes.”
Yet Mr Gosar recently tried to distance himself from white nationalists who have become his allies and supporters. After giving a video speech at a conference hosted by a white nationalist, he accused his staff of a “miscommunication” and told Politico that the video had gone to the wrong group. Mr Gosar spoke personally to the same group a year earlier.
The question of whether Arizona’s Republicans will vote for Mr. Gosar or a more Republican Republican reflects wider tensions over which faction will be the Republican flag bearers as the party tries to maintain control of Arizona’s governorship and one of the more vulnerable Democrats. to overthrow the Senate.
Governor Doug Ducey, a conservative Republican, recently signed laws banning abortions after 15 weeks, banning surgery for transgender minors, and requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship. Nevertheless, he still received the ire of the state’s Republican Party for confirming President Biden’s narrow victory and for defending the way Arizona had organized its elections.
Kari Lake, a former television host and a leading Republican contender to succeed Mr. Ducey, has promoted the lie that the election was stolen. One of the Republican nominees for the Senate, Jim Lamon, falsely claimed to be a voter capable of casting Arizona’s electoral votes to Mr. Trump.