Abraham "Abe" Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Arizona, ignited controversy after The Phoenix New Timesunearthed message board posts he wrote as a teenager in which he suggested he had changed his mother’s vote on her absentee ballot, which is a crime.
When he was 17, Hamadeh frequented a forum popular among fans of libertarian Ron Paul, the former Congressman who campaigned in the 2008 presidential race.
In two posts, he admitted to altering his mother's absentee ballot to a vote in favor of Barack Obama even though she had intended to vote for Paul. Hamadeh said his action was justified because voters questioned Obama's intelligence and given him "all of this crap simply cause he’s Black."
“Obama is getting all of this crap simply cause he’s Black, he has an Arab name, he’s the only Senator who is Black in the Senate, he is successful, and he is a Harvard Law graduate, they’re scared they might have a smart man in the White House."
“Based on Barack Obama’s intelligence I casted my vote for him yesterday through absentee.”
Hamadeh/Ron Paul Forums
In a follow-up post, Hamadeh admitted he "cannot vote" and "I’m saddened that I had to vote for Barack Obama, but it was the right thing I had to do."
Hamadeh/Ron Paul Forums
Hamadeh's campaign did not deny he'd written the posts but insisted they should not be used to influence a 2022 campaign.
Erica Knight, a spokesperson for Hamadeh’s campaign, issued the following statement:
“Abe Hamadeh is the youngest statewide candidate in the country, and one of the first to be scrutinized on his digital footprint dating back to a time when he was 16 years old, the same time he thought he would grow up to become a wrestler in the WWE."
“We are entering a new era of political opposition where candidates who have lived through their adolescent years on the internet are being judged and criticized based on comments they made well before their minds were even fully developed."
"It is now our responsibility to be careful where we draw the line.”
The scandal was also reported in The Arizona Republic, in which columnist Laurie Roberts wrote at the time of his admission Hamadeh was 17 "and kids do and say dumb things."
She added, however, voters "absolutely should consider the things he says and does now that he’s 31" particularly because he "sounds more like a toddler than a teen—or a fully grown adult."
Hamadeh's actions were condemned by Kris Mayes, a former member of the Arizona Corporation Commission who is running for the Democratic nomination in Arizona's Attorney General election.
Others have also criticized "Dishonest Abe" for his actions.
Hamadeh is just one of a tide of candidates backed by former Republican President Donald Trump that have largely made headlines for regurgitating Trump's lies about the integrity of the 2020 election.
Hamadeh has in the past been criticized for claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen, though his stances on election security mean even less now that his message board posts have once again seen the light of day.
Additionally, he has aligned himself with Kari Lake who is the Republican nominee in Arizona's gubernatorial election.
Lake described herself as a "Trump candidate," backing his lies to further her own candidacy. She has also supported the insurrectionists who attacked the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.