Ducey: A GOP senator with white nationalist ties is ‘still better than’ a Democrat

Gov. Doug Ducey said he has no regrets about spending $500,000 to elect a Republican state senator with open ties to the white nationalist movement because it’s still better than having a Democrat in her seat.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. And she’s still better than her opponent, Felicia French,” he said Thursday.

Since taking office, Rogers has become known for openly embracing the white nationalist wing of the Republican Party, including the “groyper” movement. That movement emerged after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, with the goal of pushing the GOP further into the white nationalists orbit and making the movement’s far-right views more acceptable to the American mainstream. 

One of the leaders of the groyper movement is Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust denier with a history of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks. Rogers is openly supportive of Fuentes, and was listed as a speaker at his America First Political Action Conference III this weekend. 

Asked if he’s still happy with his decision to aid Rogers’ campaign, Ducey on Thursday emphasized to reporters that he needs a governing majority in the legislature. Republicans have only a 16-14 majority in the Senate, which would have become a 15-15 split had Rogers lost her race.