- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who once favored amnesty for illegal immigrants, is hearing thunder on his right as Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founder Chris Simcox prepares a Republican nomination challenge to his Senate seat.

Mr. Simcox, who favors tougher border security and opposes amnesty, plans to announce his GOP Senate nomination bid at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Phoenix, he told The Washington Times.

“We have battened down the hatches and are ready to go,” said Mr. Simcox, whose Minuteman Civil Defense Corp enlists volunteers to help prevent illegal border crossings.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Simcox acknowledged his campaign organization is minimal and his financial resources non-existent.

“I have a Web site, SimcoxforSenate.com, two paid campaign staffers and a bank account of zero, so the American people will let me know if I’m the one they want to send to Washington.”

Just how will they let him know?

“By donating money and other support - or not,” he said. ‘I don’t think anybody ever ran a campaign for the U.S. Senate this way.”

After the immigration reform bill supported by President Bush was defeated, Mr. McCain changed his position to one of advocating that the nations borders be secured before any reform of immigration laws be debated and voted on in Congress.

Republican officials in Arizona, though not wanting to take sides, generally said Wednesday that unless Mr. McCain changes his position once again to favoring amnesty, he will be tough to defeat in the GOP Senate primary.

Nonetheless, Mr. Simcox said he has plenty of time to remind Arizona Republicans how “miserably” Mr. McCain “has failed” in securing the borders and protecting Arizonans “from the escalating violence and lawlessness.” Mr. Cain already announced he will seek re-election in 2010.

“Coupled with his votes for reckless bailout spending and big government solutions to our nations problems, John McCain is out of touch with everyday Arizonans,” Mr. Simcox said. “Enough is enough.”

Accused by detractors of a racially inspired dislike of immigrants, legal or illegal, Mr. Simcox told The Times he is anything but a racist.

‘I will be campaigning with my biracial son who is 22 years old,” said Mr. Simcox, who was once married to a black woman.

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