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Deb Haaland comes to Arizona to stump for Biden, Democratic candidates

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Deb Haaland comes to Arizona to stump for Biden, Democratic candidates

Jun 21, 2024 | 9:09 pm ET
By Shondiin Silversmith
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Deb Haaland comes to Arizona to stump for Biden, Democratic candidates
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Deb Haaland (in blue) voiced her support for Biden and Harris during her trip to Arizona, which included a stop at the Mayan Winds Coffee Emporium in Flagstaff on June 21, 2024. Photo by Shondiin Silversmith | Arizona Mirror

Dozens of people gathered in a local coffee shop in Flagstaff on Friday to listen to Deb Haaland, a former congresswoman and the first Indigenous woman to be in a presidential cabinet, voice her support for Democratic candidates up and down the Arizona ballot, chief among them President Joe Biden. 

“I can tell you, President Biden cares,” Haaland said. 

Haaland, who is Biden’s secretary of the interior but appeared in Arizona in her personal capacity, shared a story about how she once told Biden about her sister, who has been working as a registered nurse for more than 40 years in California. 

Haaland said that Biden resonated with her story and started talking about the nurse who took care of his son, Beau, when he was sick with brain cancer. 

“Tears came to his eyes,” she added, and it was that interaction that showed her that he cares about people. 

“I know it’s real, and I’m telling you it’s real,” she said. “You need to spread that all over the place because we need somebody who cares about us in the White House.”

Haaland voiced her support for Biden and Harris during her trip to Arizona, which included a stop at the Mayan Winds Coffee Emporium in Flagstaff on June 21. 

Haaland was joined by Arizona Democratic Party leaders from Coconino County and Apache County and a few local Democratic candidates as they discussed the milestones of the Biden-Harris administration and the important policies impacting women’s lives across the country — especially reproductive rights.

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stripping Americans of their right to abortion access. In its wake, there has been anti-abortion legislation introduced across the country, including Arizona. Roughly half of the states now outright ban or sharply limit abortion access.

As of mid-June, there are 10 states where voters may be deciding on abortion access in November, according to KFF, a nonpartisan health policy organization. Arizona is one of those states where abortion access is likely to be on the ballot in November. 

A recent poll showed that, in the states with abortion access on the ballot, more than half (53%) of Democratic women voters say that they are more motivated to vote this year than in past elections. 

During the event, Laura Carter, chair for the Arizona Democratic Party in Coconino County, talked about how, in the years that former President Donald Trump was in charge, she saw Roe v. Wade be overturned and the reproductive rights of women be continuously ripped away. 

“No one in Arizona is going to be safe or have safe access to reproductive health care if Donald Trump makes his way back,” Carter said, noting that Arizona is an important position this election. 

“Here in Arizona, our elections matter and our votes matter,” she said, highlighting how, in 2020, Arizona delivered victory for Biden by less than 11,000 votes. 

“This election, our votes could be the difference between Trump’s nationwide abortion ban and Joe Biden’s restoration of our reproductive freedom,” Carter said, adding that she believes the only way to guarantee women’s reproductive rights are restored is by voters showing up in November to reelect Biden.

Haaland said that it’s important for voters to come together between now and November to raise their voices and remind each other what is at stake. 

“Let’s remember who will be on the other side of that ballot,” she said, adding that the Republican Party is going to nominate a “twice impeached, criminally indicted” former president. 

“We all lived through those long four years that he was in office,” she said, adding that it felt as if every day brought chaos, crisis and corruption as Trump put his own interest first.

Haaland said she was there on January 6 when the insurrection happened. 

“I saw it all firsthand,” she said. “He won’t think twice about burning down our democracy just to hold on to power, except this time he’s not even trying to hide it.”

Haaland voiced her support for local Democratic candidates in Arizona, who she said believe in an America where everybody has a fair shot at a better life.

She said that no matter where a person comes from, what they earn, how they pray or who they love, they should all have equal opportunity and more freedom than their parents did, not less.

“That’s what our Democratic elected officials are working every day to build, and their record of results is proof that they deserve an opportunity to finish the job,” Haaland said.