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Election 2024: 7 Reasons to Start an Independent Political Campaign in Arizona

3 min read
Phoenix AZ Politics Team · Jan 4, 2024

Arizona is one of those states that seems to make the news on a near-daily basis. It’s at the center of litigation regarding its part in the Big Lie debacle, and members of the establishment parties in Arizona seem bent on maintaining the status quo rather than on serving their constituents. 

For example, Republican Kari Lake is now running for U.S. Senate and fundraising nationally on the notion that she really won her failed gubernatorial race, and the Democratic Party unsuccessfully sued to keep No Labels off the Arizona ballot in 2024. 

Given factors like changing demographics and a generally chaotic political atmosphere, the potential for successfully running for office as an independent in Arizona is huge.

Arizona’s Voting History

Arizona's political history has been traditionally Republican. The state has only voted for the Democratic presidential candidate twice in nearly 50 years, in 1996 and 2020. However, Joe Biden's narrow victory in 2020 and internal political turmoil indicate a shifting landscape and the potential for independents to make an impact​​. 

In fact, the recent political strife within both establishment parties in Arizona has given rise to two independent parties who are looking to make a difference in the state. The No Labels Party has recently gained ballot access, and the Forward Party is in the process of gathering signatures to do the same.

Arizona is an open primary state, which means independent voters don’t need to register with a party to vote in the primaries. However, voters must register to vote with an officially recognized party for the general elections. As of this writing, Arizona only recognizes four political parties: the Democrats, Republicans, the Libertarian Party, and No Labels. 

There is one way that independent voters can still have a voice in local elections. Arizona offers an option to request a “municipal only ballot.” Municipal races are non-partisan

If the rise of support for independent politicians in Arizona isn’t enough inspiration to spark a run for office in 2024, here are 7 more reasons to launch a political campaign in Arizona this election cycle:

10 Good Reasons to Run as an Independent in Arizona

If ever there was a time to be an independent in a former Red State, the 2024 election cycle is the time, and Arizona is the state. Read on to learn some compelling reasons why independent candidates should consider running in the Grand Canyon State in 2024.

Reason #1: Large Independent Voter Base

As of July 2023, Arizona had 1,450,697 registered independent voters, making up 34.55% of the state’s voters​​​​. For the first time in its history, the number of independents in the state outnumbers registered Republicans. Of the nearly 100,000 new voters registered in Arizona since May 1, 2023, 57% registered as PND voters (Party Not Declared). Compare that to the Democrats (18.2% of new registrants) and Republicans (24.9% of new voter registrations).

This significant portion of the electorate presents a substantial opportunity for independent candidates.

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Reason #2: Critical Issues for Advocacy 

The top issues for Arizona voters include jobs, the economy, and immigration, with health care and education also being significant concerns​​. With turmoil over the 2020 elections still looming over the state, election security and voting access are critical  issues that need to be addressed. This range of issues provides a rich canvas for independent candidates to address.

Reason #3: Diverse Offices Up for Election 

The 2024 elections in Arizona will see state-wide contests for the U.S. House and Senate, the State House and Senate, the Arizona State Supreme Court, and intermediate appellate courts. 

In addition, aspiring politicians can find ways to serve their communities at the local level. Gila County will elect two new school board members, for instance, and Tucson is looking for a new mayor and city council members in three wards. 

All of these local positions are non-partisan, meaning that independents could have a fair shot with the right support. What’s more, the variety of elected offices available offers multiple avenues for independents to engage in the political process.

Reason #4: Opportunity to Address Local and State Issues

Independent candidates can focus on both local and national issues, tailoring their campaigns to the unique needs of Arizona’s diverse population. Whether you’re worried about gun control, immigration, the economy, or all of the above, the coming elections offer something for every independent candidate to address. 

School funding and infrastructure spending are also big issues in many localities in Arizona. Districts in 10 counties are planning to vote on educational initiatives. 

Reason #5: Potential to Influence Swing Voters

Given the recent close races and changing political dynamics in Arizona, independent candidates can play a crucial role in influencing undecided or swing voters. The political landscape is so flexible right now, it seems this once-deep red state is turning purple. 

Reason #6: Platform for Innovative Ideas and Solutions

The growing number of unaffiliated voters in Arizona indicates a desire for fresh perspectives and solutions. This could provide a fertile ground for grassroots movements and independents with innovative ideas.

Reason #7: Opportunity to Represent Diverse Views

With a significant independent voter base and changing demographics, Arizona candidates have the chance to represent a diverse spectrum of views and a broad range of concerns that reach beyond traditional party lines.

Arizona Election Deadlines for 2024

The election schedule in Arizona includes a presidential preference primary on March 9, 2024, a primary on August 6, 2024, and the general election on November 5, 2024​​. 

The filing deadline for independent presidential candidates is August 17, 2024. This allows candidates ample time to campaign and connect with voters. The filing deadline for candidates for the Arizona state legislature falls sooner, on April 8, 2024. Check your local government’s website for information on the filing deadlines for local positions.

Finally, here are just a few of the local offices up for grabs that you might consider running for this year:

Photo by Ian Dziuk on Unsplash

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Phoenix AZ
By Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.