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Sheriff Mark Lamb is, Like, Probably, Most Likely, Definitely Running for Senate
February 20, 2023
This weekend, Riders USA sponsored a Second Amendment Rally in Phoenix in front of the Capital Building. Typically, the event is held behind the building, but this year, the 2A crew could claim Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza and its 10 Commandments Memorial as their own.
It was, in all honestly, a relatively dull affair. The weather was pleasant, the kids were cornholing, and there were probably more Proud Boys doing “security” than attendees to securitize.
Some journalists estimated the crowd as “hundreds,” but it was under 200, tops, with half of the people working officially or unofficially. As in most of these rallies, there was a mix of people including a kids’ area, overseen by Jesus himself, where the young people played Constitutional cornhole and American flag Jenga. The primary purpose of the rally was to sell things – “Patriotic” t-shirts, insurance in case you shoot someone, BBQ, Philly cheesesteaks, pool cleaning services, and Confederate flags. You could also enter a raffle to win a red-white-and-blue firearm or join an organization like the John Birch Society, the Arizona Libertarian Party, Gun Owners USA, or Turning Point USA.
There were the cosplayers, some of whom appeared with a guillotine that, so they alleged, “worked.” (It worked, except that the blade was made of wood, not metal.) These guys rolled their homemade creation around the designated rally site and took the time to boo Ukraine when it came up once.
The Arizona Proud Boys appeared to believe they were serving as official security, but they were challenged for this position by a local III% group, although I could not confirm that on the spot. Snipers stood atop the capital, just in case people felt safer with random citizens working sniper nests above them. (There were also a few actual bicycle cops who pretty much did nothing.)
The biggest announcement came when Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County announced his candidacy for Senate. Sort of. As I’ve written before, Lamb is a natural politician with a talent for speaking in Constitutional mad libs. “Take the guns out of it. This is the Second Amendment to the Constitution. I wouldn’t allow you to change the Second Amendment just as I wouldn’t allow you to change the First Amendment. This is your right to say what you believe…I wouldn’t allow them to search your house without a search warrant,” he said. “It’s an amendment to the Constitution…it’s to protect our GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS.”
His speech was nonsensical, including an “Aesop fable” about the farmer’s daughter and the lion. It does not end well for the lion.
Lamb’s point was hard to discern, but he got the loudest cheers when he announced his campaign. “I am seriously considering making a run at the U.S. Senate...Keep your eye on social media and look out for a possible announcement.”
Towards the end of this bizarre monologue, a man in a “God Bless Kyle Rittenhouse” Infowars shirt tried to engage in dialogue with Lamb about the arrest of George Kelley, an Arizona rancher who is being held on a $1 million bond for first-degree murder. The 73-year-old is accused of shooting and killing a man. Kelley is becoming a far-right cause celebre – he has claimed he shot “in the air” and a GoFundMe to collect bail was shut down. Lamb went on the air days before to defend Kelley, calling him a “very nice guy.”
“If you don’t appreciate what happened to the farmer who used self-defense…I don’t know all the facts, but I can tell you the bond seems excessive,” Lamb said. “Let your voices be heard,” he concluded.
Perhaps Lamb’s largest obstacle is his popularity as a sheriff. Most people I asked about Lamb’s prospects as Senator told me they didn’t know who he was. “I don’t know much about sheriffs,” one man confessed. Another said that he thought sheriffs should “stay in their lane.” He pointed to ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, who failed to win the Republican Senate primary in 2018 and lost his race to be mayor of his hometown in 2022. “I would vote for Joe Arpaio for sheriff until he was dust,” his comrade-in-arms told me, adding that he had been coming to this rally since it started in 2014, “but I’m not voting for him as anything else.”
These same guys fanboyed over John Correia, who hosts a popular YouTube channel in which he provides voice-over commentary to “defensive” shootings and other situations. “You gotta check him out,” they urged me. Maybe he should run?