Mark Lamb talks immigration, fentanyl, and Kyrsten Sinema on campaign trail for U.S. Senate

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Pinal County sheriff Mark Lamb waves to a cheering crowd at a Save America Rally Friday, July 22, 2022, in Prescott, Ariz. Lamb has filed federal paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, Monday, April 10, 2023, becoming the first Republican to jump into a high-profile race for the seat now held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Ross D. Franklin / AP

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb hopes his law enforcement acumen in a border state will make him stand out in a potentially crowded race for the GOP ticket in Arizona’s next U.S. Senate primary.

Lamb has been on the campaign trail as the first Republican Senate candidate in Arizona to declare candidacy for the 2024 election. He spoke with The Center Square on Friday to discuss the border and state of the race.

Although Pinal County is not geographically a border county, it’s close to the border and deals with many pursuits and apprehensions. Lamb said he would “call it out” with the Biden administration as a senator regarding the ongoing border crisis.

“I’ve consistently called out this administration for the human trafficking that’s happening and the slavery that’s happening every day. Yet we haven’t had that same reaction from our senators in this state. They have not vocally and outwardly opposed this administration and their inability to secure this border and do their job,” Lamb said, referring to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat-turned-Independent who currently holds the seat he’s running for, and Sen. Mark Kelly.

“Look, I called out issues even during the Trump administration, things that were not going on. I was posting about border issues then. But they were listening to us. We had a seat at the table, and that’s something we haven’t had in the last two years,” he continued.

On the topic of fentanyl trafficking and deaths, the Republican said “you have to enforce the law” at the southern border for the issue to truly stop.

In his campaign announcement, Lamb mentioned how his late son, who was killed in a vehicle accident in December, dealt with drug addiction and spent time in jail because of fentanyl.

He said that he supports programs to help addicts, except the root of the problem is border security.

“But until you secure the border, it’s like mopping the bathroom floor without turning off the tub,” he said. “You’re gonna continue. You can mop all you want, the water is gonna continue to flow, and eventually, you’re gonna get overrun by it.”

On the political side, Lamb said that independents would vote for him in a general election because he’s had a good working relationship with both parties at the state level, despite disagreements.

“I hope to run a steady course of authenticity, of common sense, and having an ability to sit down and work with everybody,” he said.

The Center Square also asked Lamb about the potentially crowded Republican field, with Kari Lake, Karrin Taylor Robson, Jim Lamon, and Blake Masters considering jumping into the primary as well. The potential list, with the exception of Lake, met to discuss the primary earlier this month, according to The Washington Post. Lamb advocated for Lake and Masters, who were the gubernatorial and senatorial nominees, respectively, in the 2022 general election.

“I hope my campaign’s gonna be all about earning your vote so that you feel great about voting for me and not just feeling like you’re voting for the lesser of two evils,” he said.

“I have a proven conservative track record. I’ve been a proven conservative fighter. Of anybody that you’ve mentioned, I’m the only one that has actually served as an elected official and have a track record of actually doing what I say. And so I think the people of Arizona are gonna look at that and say, “Hey, this guy is a proven conservative fighter, and he’s stood the test, he’s weathered the storms, and we like the way he operates, and we’re gonna vote for him,'” Lamb added. 

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.