Arizona: McCain, Hayworth Vie for Endorsements

Posted February 24, 2010 at 6:44pm

Arizona Republicans don’t go to the polls until August, but you’d never know it from watching the jockeying for position by Sen. John McCain and his primary rival, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

This week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the political arm of Citizens Against Government Waste came out for McCain.

Hayworth has a slightly better lifetime rating from Citizens Against Government Waste. But Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Chairman Tom Schatz said the endorsement was based on more than “just a single number.”

“The rating is certainly a factor,” Schatz said, but “it also has to do with leadership on the issues.” McCain, he said, “has been a longtime ally and leader against wasteful spending.”

Schatz said McCain’s stance on earmarks rates among the highest among sitting Senators, calling that “extremely impressive given the number of years he’s been in office.”

Hayworth, Schatz said, ranked “17th or 18th out of the group” of House contemporaries when he left office in 2007.

The Hayworth campaign on Wednesday touted the endorsement of Gun Owners of America. Hayworth’s candidacy also is backed by the largest law enforcement agency in Arizona, the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, and by Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee.