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HomePoliticsCD2 Rep. Eli Crane's time in office has been interesting

CD2 Rep. Eli Crane’s time in office has been interesting

POLITICS- The CD2 primary race between Jack Smith (R) and Eli Crane (R) is sure to bring out Crane’s nearly two years of fouls and mishaps that include associates busted for illegal drugs, and dropping racial slurs on the House floor.

After two years of Rep. Crane, many residents of Navajo County said they only see him during voting events and odd encounters. After all, Crane doesn’t live in CD2 and never established an office in Navajo County.

Looking back at Rep. Crane’s nearly two years in office has several voters wondering if another term would bring more of the same.

Cranes fundraising consultant Emily Pitha, who was a rising star in GOP campaign circles until 2016, was arrested after police found an active meth lab at her home.

In 2016, Pitha pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to two years probation. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies searched her house and found 250 grams of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy. They also found cocaine, heroin, a half-pound of methamphetamine, LSD, and a working meth lab in a shed in the backyard.

Rep. Crane paid Pitha more than $40,000 for “fundraising consulting” for his 2024 reelection bid, according to campaign finance filings. Since Crane first ran for Congress in 2022, he has paid Pitha over $146,000

Her boyfriend was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to having the meth lab and other illegal drugs.

After the AZ Mirror published the story, Crane defended hiring Pitha in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

Emily was put through hell when she was in a toxic relationship many years ago. I’m proud to run a campaign that employs hard working Arizonans who have dealt with adversity. If the dark money machine in DC wants to attack that, it says more about them than anyone on Team Crane.

Rep. Crane did not respond to a request for comment about Pitha’s past.

In 2023 on the House floor, Rep. Crane referred to African Americans as “colored people” prompting outrage from Democrats and Republicans and a quick rebuke from the chamber’s presiding officer. Reactions to Arizona Rep. Crane’s use of the term “colored people” during his 2023 House floor debate ranged from “utter shock” to suggestions that it was a “dog whistle to white nationalists.”

The remark came during debate on Rep. Crane’s proposed Protection of Ideological Freedom amendment to the Pentagon budget. The amendment, which subsequently passed, “prohibits DOD from considering race, gender, religion or political affiliations or any other ideological concepts as the sole basis for recruitment, training, education, promotion or retention decisions.”

Rep. Crane said his amendment has “nothing to do with whether colored people, or Black people, or anybody, can serve,” but was aimed at ensuring that “our military does not become a social experiment.”

Eight GOP members voted to remove  Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last year. A process which left legislation in limbo for weeks and eventually resulted in the election of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). Crane was one of the eight that removed McCarthy and aligns with a far-right agenda.

Looking at Rep. Crane’s bills there isn’t much to see. What’s clear is that Navajo County hasn’t been on Crane’s to do list, at all.

Its possible that Jack Smith might bring some civility to CD2, but keep an eye on the Democrat, Jonathan Nez.

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