10 Arizona politics social media accounts to follow | Phoenix New Times

10 social media accounts to follow for junkies of Arizona politics

Like Arizona politics, social media's an addictive hellscape. If you're stuck in it, might as well laugh and learn something.
If you're addicted to social media and Arizona politics, you should be following these accounts.
If you're addicted to social media and Arizona politics, you should be following these accounts. Photo illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Social media is a curse. It is designed to suck as much attention from you as possible, like a leech on your brain. But at the same time, it provides new, interesting opportunities for spreading and receiving information.

That’s certainly true when it comes to politics. Here in Arizona, there are a host of accounts that consistently pump out content that is illuminating, engaging, wacky and hilarious.

If you’re interested in Arizona politics, here are 10 social media accounts worth your time and attention.

Clue Heywood, X (formerly Twitter)

Arizona’s most notable anonymous account is always getting up to something. In just the past few months, Heywood drove across the state with author Tom Zoellner to place bets at Arizona’s 26 casinos within 48 hours, tweeted about wandering through the French Quarter of New Orleans on psychedelics and apparently threw back some bourbon with U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Ruben Gallego.

Heywood is the back-to-back defending champion of Phoenix magazine’s “Best Twitter Account.” He asked Twitter followers and users to vote for him again by tweeting, “I don’t have much else going for me in this life.” While few subjects — especially Phoenix sports — sit outside his purview, he offers plenty of political takes, too.

State Rep. Analise Ortiz, TikTok


Positive development in the abortion ban debate

♬ original sound - Rep. Analise Ortiz
Ortiz has emerged as one of the Arizona Democratic Party’s top stars, in large part because of her standout communication skills. It’s no wonder she connects so well — after graduating from ASU in 2014, Ortiz worked as a reporter for the Arizona Republic and several TV stations on the West Coast.

If any lawmaker is capable of reaching and engaging young voters on state and local issues, it’s Ortiz. While also maintaining a presence on Twitter — we’ll start calling the platform X more often whenever it stops sounding stupid —Ortiz’s pioneering work on TikTok is where she shines. There, Ortiz updates her roughly 36,000 followers with casual, quick and informative videos about politics and policy.

And she's poised to gain more relevance. Ortiz is jockeying up to switch chambers, campaigning to move from the House to the Senate.

Garrett Archer, X (formerly Twitter)

Archer is the self-described “Oracle of #ElectionTwitter” — otherwise known as the ABC15 “data guru,” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing — and is a must-follow account for Arizona election season.

Known for his catchphrase, “Maricopa incoming,” Archer provides reliable play-by-play as vote tallies drop.

Archer was an election official with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office until 2019, when he resigned and became a data analyst at ABC15. He made a name for himself during the previous two turbulent elections, but he also covers plenty of other political issues. He even frequently responds to trolls, painstakingly taking the time to debunk election conspiracy theories.

The Real Thelma, X (formerly Twitter)

Nine of the accounts listed here are real people. Thelma Johnson is not. Named by New Times as the “Best Political Twitter Parody” last year, Thelma presents herself as a “MeeMaw” who takes frequent, funny shots at Arizona’s many wacky Republicans.

Recent posts offer her nearly 53,000 followers Photoshopped images of Kari Lake as a bat, Joe Arpaio waving a trans pride flag and two worms bragging about planting vaccine conspiracy theories into the brain of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

She’s also a fan of ours. “Kari Lake called the people at @phoenixnewtimes '20 year old dopes,’” she tweeted in May, “but these dopes consistently do the best political reporting in the Valley.”

Tony Cani, TikTok

@ynotcani Replying to @Kgraham2497 Arizona Republican Legislator that put on a big show, pretending he wants to remove az’s 1864 Abortion ban recently made law again by the Supreme Court admitted to a reporter he did in fact vote to table his own motion after insisting all day anyone saying he did that was pushing a partisan lie and attack. Get to know AZ Rep Matt Gress. #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Tony Cani
Recently, a video circulated of state Sen. Anthony Kern and other lawmakers going full freak mode on the Senate floor as they spoke in tongues and prayed for an ancient abortion ban to be resurrected. It went viral, even making it on to Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Kern’s strange moment saw the light of social media thanks to Tony Cani, the founder of Slingshot Campaigns and a long-time political and public affairs strategist. Cani frequently posts outside commentary on happenings at the Arizona Capitol and in national politics.

Stephen Richer, X (formerly Twitter)

Maricopa County’s top election official, Richer is known for his frequent clapbacks to right-wing gadflies. Though a Republican, Richer has forcefully pushed back against disinformation that extremists from his party promote in Arizona in attempts to sow distrust in the electoral system.

It’s a tough job, but Richer vigorously sets the record straight with his engagement on Twitter, where he has a large following and frequently responds to replies. He’s also up for reelection this year.

State Sen. Anna Hernandez, X (formerly Twitter)

The undisputed queen of clapback represents West Phoenix in the Arizona Senate. She’s brought a fiery, outspoken voice to the Senate since 2023, especially on issues such as social justice, policing and affordable housing.

But Hernandez just embarked on a new mission: running for Phoenix City Council. If she wins, she could be a thorn in the side of a mostly tight-lipped establishment team of politicians.

Keep an eye on her.

Robbie Pfeffer, TikTok and Instagram

@robbiefromphoenix The Arizona school voucher program just had it's first oversight meeting and let's just say, there are some issues. #arizonapolitics #schoolvouchers #arizona #christinemarsh #teachers ♬ original sound - Robbie Talks AZ Politics
Robbie Talks AZ Politics brings a mix of informative information and understated comic relief to online content. The combination has been effective, with Pfeffer amassing a large following on TikTok. If you’re not into the trendy social media platform, you can find the same content on Pfeffer’s Instagram account.

The millennial Democrat and frontman for the Phoenix band Playboy Manbaby sums up developments in local politics like a comedian or an entertainer while holding a mic in front of a green screen background. The lo-tech format seems to bridge the gap between 2000s internet aesthetics and jittery Gen-Z energy.

Sam Almy, X (formerly Twitter)

Unless you’re forking over money to Elon Musk, tweets are hemmed in by character limits. Almy solves that problem with charts.

A Democratic political strategist who also tracks early ballots, Almy fills his feed with graphs loaded with info on voter tendencies. If you want to know what Arizona voters are up to, and if you’re a visual learner, he’s got what you need.

LUCHA AZ, Instagram

click to enlarge A screenshot of an Instagram post by LUCHA AZ that rates the HR 2060 Revival on a scale of Pretty Bad to Really Bad to Even Worse. The dial is turned to Even Worse.
Screenshot via Instagram

Living United For Change, known colloquially by its acronym that translates to “the fight” or “the struggle” in Spanish, was formed in the aftermath of the SB 1070 law that injected fear into Latino communities.

That law ultimately was ruled unconstitutional, but as Arizona Republicans work to pass a new generation of anti-immigrant laws through the legislature and send them to voters, members of those communities who were harassed and made to feel unwelcome in their own country are experiencing déjà vu.

LUCHA exists to mount a public pushback against such discriminatory laws, and the organization’s youth-driven staff and design profile lend it an appealing brand. Its posts showcase memes about Republicans, updates on legislation and community-focused perspectives.
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