State Senate Candidate Wendy Rogers says she’s a victim of left-wing radicals, just like Kyle Rittenhouse, the Trump supporter charged with murder in the death of two Black Lives Matter protesters in Wisconsin.

Wendy Rogers picture

Wendy Rogers, candidate in the District 6 State Senate Race, compared how Democrats attack her to the prosecution of Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two people in Wisconsin.

“I am used to being attacked by the far, far, far Left. Happens to me a lot,” said Rogers in a fundraising appeal for the District 6 state Senate seat, which includes all of Rim Country, Flagstaff, the Verde Valley and the White Mountains. “That’s what happens when you stand and fight for what’s right, especially this year. It happened to Kyle Rittenhouse, it happened to Senator Rand Paul, and now the extreme Left is doing it to me.”

The appeal comes in the midst of escalating violence at protests. Shortly after Rittenhouse killed the two protestors a Black Lives Matter supporter shot and killed a counter-protester in Portland. He was subsequently shot and killed by police.

Rogers, a retired pilot and Phoenix businesswoman, defeated longtime Republican state senator Sylvia Allen in a bitter primary. She’s now facing off against Democrat Felicia French in the swing district. French is a retired Army colonel, nurse and medivac helicopter pilot.

Roger’s comments about Rittenhouse mirror tweets by Congressman Paul Gosar saying that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot and killed two protesters.

Rittenhouse traveled to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Those protests took place after police serving a warrant on a black suspect shot him in the back seven times — partially paralyzing him.

Rittenhouse has claimed he acted in self defense when he shot and killed a protester he said tried to grab the barrel of his automatic rifle. Several demonstrators followed Rittenhouse as he retreated. He shot another protester dead and wounded a third protestor who was reportedly armed with a handgun. He has been charged with multiple counts of murder. Police initially allowed him to leave the scene, but later arrested him.

Rogers, a retired Air Force colonel, did not return emails seeking elaboration on her fundraising email.

In that email, Rogers said Democratic mega-donor George Soros was targeting her, citing several critical blog postings by Soros supporters. A Jewish Holocaust survivor and billionaire Hungarian-American investor, Soros for decades has been a major Democratic donor and has donated an estimated $11 billion to various philanthropic causes.

One of those blog postings she criticized said Rogers belonged to an “extremist anti-government militia.” Rogers in her fundraising letter said “they mean the Oath Keepers.” In previous social media posts, she has said she’s a member of the group.

Wikipedia describes Oath Keepers as “an anti-government American far-right organization associated with the militia movement. The group describes itself as a non-partisan association of current and former military, police and first-responders who pledge to fulfill the oath that all military and police take in order to ‘defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.’ It encourages members to ignore orders they believe violate the U.S. Constitution.”

The Anti-Defamation League describes the group as “heavily armed extremists with a conspiratorial and anti-government mindset looking for potential showdowns with the government.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the group’s founder — Stewart Rhodes — as a “known extremist” espousing conspiracy theories associated with the white supremacist posse comitatus movement.”

The Oath Keepers first gained national attention in 2014 and 2015 when members armed with semi-automatic rifles patrolled streets and rooftops during the riots and protests that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The Department of Justice ultimately concluded Wilson shot Brown in self-defense.

Self-identified Oath Keeper members have been involved in other demonstrations, including an appeal to create armed citizen militas to protect schools after the Parkland High School shootings. Members of the Oath Keepers also showed up at the standoff at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada after the Bureau of Land Management threatened to seize his cattle after Cliven Bundy refused for years to pay $1 million in federal grazing fees for his use of 145,000 acres of federal land for more than a decade.

Rogers ran a slashing primary campaign against Sylvia Allen, who also supported the Bundys in their armed standoff with the federal government. Rogers accused Allen of failing to sufficiently support the police. Allen’s supporters countered that Rogers didn’t actually live in the district and cited misleading claims of endorsements. However, Rogers spent close to $500,000, mostly from out of the district, and beat Allen by 19 percentage points.

Her fundraising appeals in the general election have continued to cite mostly national issues while attacking the “radical left.”

She said the protestors who have roiled Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, Chicago and other cities “are trying to bring that same course of destruction and murder to Arizona, to Flagstaff. I will be the greatest enemy Soros has in Arizona. I am a pioneer and a loyal patriot – and I will not abide these anti-American savages here in Arizona. There is no turning back. We cannot lose. I must win, and we must help President Trump win in November. Don’t let Antifa do to Arizona what they did to Portland. They hate us just like the Socialist rioters do! Let’s defeat them together!”

French has largely refrained from criticizing Rogers, instead focusing on a platform that calls for more spending on educational reforms, stronger action to slow the spread of COVID-19 and stronger environmental regulations, especially when it comes to uranium mining on the watershed draining into the Grand Canyon and the release of heat-trapping gases from fracking operations. She suspended her campaign for more than a month to work as a nurse on the Navajo Reservation.

French has also raised eye-popping donations — more than $218,000 prior to the primary election, in which she faced no opposition. Rogers and French plus outside groups mounting dark money independent campaigns are on track to spend more money in their race than all the candidates combined have spent in the district in the past four election cycles.

The district could flip control of the state House from Republicans to Democrats, but Republicans would maintain a comfortable advantage in the senate even if French won the seat.

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

(8) comments

peterh

Wow,she just lost my vote,How can you justify the actions of that 17 year old???He came from out of state and killed 2 people???

2linden

Make that 2 votes. One extreme complaining about the extremism of the other side. When will Country count more than being a Republican or Democrat?

KerryR

Felicia French has my vote! She has the qualifications, sound judgment, and a vision for improving lives for ALL Arizonans that includes improving rural healthcare and education and protecting our land and water. She will listen to and represent everyone because she is open-minded and genuinely cares about people.

MarieSedona

Yesterday, the anniversary of 9/11 was a day for me to put politics aside and reflect in quiet reverence. Today, I was quite stunned to read this interview with Wendy Rogers. It is full of projection and fear. Curious, I went on her campaign Facebook. Yes, a small mention of 9/11, but it was lost to the more prominent feature of Benghazi. Stunning false equivalent and whataboutism! 9/11 killed 3,000 Americans. Worse, in the height of COVID-19, we lost a 9/11 per day! Wendy Rogers does not even mention COVID-19. I am voting for Felicia French. She wears a nurse's hat, not a tin foil hat.

Bob Smith

Wraps herself in our great flag (disgusting) calls herself a victim (childish) and never mentions issues important to voters in LD6 all while hyperventilatingly begging for more donations from her gullible, out-of-state supporters. Meanwhile her opponent lends her services pro-bono (and without fanfair) while focusing on the future of our beautiful mountains. Oh, and I guess it helps that French actually lives in the district. Perennial candidate Rogers; everything that is wrong with this country.

Vtrone

If what WMI reporter Peter Aleshire wrote is true, that Wendy Rogers supports President Trump and his agenda, then that means that she supports phasing out Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and other government run programs that were established to help seniors, the disabled, the poor and our veterans. By de facto, that also should mean that Wendy Rogers would give up her government run military pension and her government run healthcare for veterans, Otherwise, she is enjoying the benefits of American style,constitutionally provided, socialism..."providing for the general welfare" of our citizens, veterans included. (Preamble and Article I Section 8, Clause I) My vote goes for Felicia French, at least she knows what the purpose of our government is.

CourtneyL

Hello, I just saw your comment and wanted to reply, if that's ok? My father is a retired AF veteran, and he benefited from Trump's Mission Act. Some of his buddies have, too. The urgent care benefit lets them use local clinics for bronchitis and other little things that used to take them tons of time to take care of...I'm not sure what you mean about Trump or Rogers phasing out Tricare? The VA still isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than it was before:) Is there a better system Felicia French supports (I don't know much about her)?

Vtrone

Courtney, first of all, Trump's Mission Act is basically an extension of President Obama's Choice Act of 2014. Both improved services for veterans. Tricare, like Medicare, Social Security, public schools system, and other non profit government run progams have been constitutionally legislated for the benefit of the american people are what the republican party falsely calls "Socialism" and should be phased out or privatized. Privatization would mean that people with money would get services while poor people who could not afford to pay would not get any health or education services. Privatization after all, is a for profit system, which means the more,the bigger profits are made, the better it is for the corporations,but not so for those individuals on Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid. It means that people on Social Security would have to pay management/processing fees to get their monthly checks. The Bush administration tried to privatize Social Security in 2004-2005 but the corporations involved refused because they couldn't run it like the government and still make a profit.

To quote Wendy Rogers speaking at the East Valley Liberty Caucus on 7/25/12: "Is Social Security constitutional? No. Should it be phased out? I'd like to see it phased out, but if it can't be phased out, I'd like to see private options."

Wendy Rogers at Ahwatukee debate on 8/9/12 : "I like the Paul Ryan plan because it helps to privatize part of Medicare. It doesn't do enough for Social Security, I believe what the Americans for Prosperity believe, we should do more to privatize Social Security."

Courtney, True "Socialism" is where the means of production and distribution of goods are owned and controlled by the government. There is no such thing in the United States. So what does Wendy Rogers and other republicans mean when they accuse others of being "Socialists" if there is no true Socialism in the U.S? It means they are dead set against constitutionally legislated, government run programs, Tricare,S.S. etc.,etc., that are for the benefit of the american public , which includes our veterans. Always ask republican politicans (Wendy Rogers) "What do you mean by "Socialism? Give an example of a for profit business being run by the U.S. government in the U.S." There are none.

While I do not speak for Felicia French, I suspect that she supports a fully funded, current non profit, government run V.A., Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, public schools, over a privatized versions. It is after all, what the founding fathers enumerated as the purpose of the newly established U.S. government in the Preamble of the Constitution and in Article I, Section 8, Clause I.

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