A Phoenix activist is recruiting adult film actress Stormy Daniels to run against the governor of Arizona as well as conservative state lawmaker Kelly Townsend.EXPAND
A Phoenix activist is recruiting adult film actress Stormy Daniels to run against the governor of Arizona as well as conservative state lawmaker Kelly Townsend.
Elizabeth Stuart; ASACP RTA/flickr

Stormy Daniels Recruited to Run Against Arizona Governor and Lawmaker

A Phoenix activist is recruiting adult film star and Trump foe Stormy Daniels to run against conservative state legislator Kelly Townsend and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

On Monday, Lennie Clark — a well-known local gadfly — filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's office to form two political action committees: "Stormy Daniels To Replace Kelly Townsend Committee" and "Stormy Daniels For Az Governor 2020."

Ducey is up for re-election this year, not 2020, but a typo is hardly the wildest thing about the campaign to draft Stormy Daniels.

Clark said he was motivated to reach out to Daniels after seeing her take on Trump in court and in the media.

"She’s of a high ethical and moral fiber, and she’s exactly the type of person that I would hope Mesa citizens in Ms. Townsend’s district would consider," Clark told Phoenix New Times.

Daniels says that her 2006 affair with Trump was the subject of a nondisclosure agreement, where Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen days before the 2016 election. The revelation has embroiled the White House, and Cohen is now under criminal investigation by New York federal prosecutors.

Impressed by her highly publicized war with Trump, Clark said that he has reached out to Daniels on Twitter. He plans to meet with friends to start a social media campaign to convince Daniels to run for office in Arizona.

"She’s standing up against the president of the United States, for crying out loud," Clark said.

Townsend's a firebrand conservative who frequently makes incendiary comments. In January, she said that women who are acting in "moral defiance" have "no defense" if they are sexually harassed or raped.

Townsend has also been a vocal opponent of the #RedForEd movement, which shut down Arizona schools as teachers went on strike for more education funding. In her view, the #RedForEd leaders are socialists.

"The outrageous behavior of Kelly Townsend is just too much," Clark said.

When reached on Wednesday, Townsend was having a difficult time holding back laughter in response to the news.

"I don’t know what to say. It’s what we expect from Mr. Clark," she said.

Townsend called the campaign to draft Daniels "welcome comic relief in an otherwise very tumultuous and difficult budget process."

"Nothing ceases to amaze me," she said.

Clark, 53, is a constant presence at Capitol press conferences and Phoenix City Council meetings. He considers himself a progressive thorn in the side of Arizona politicians, and in 2016 he staged a long-shot campaign for U.S. Senate.

Clearly, Clark's campaign to draft Daniels is not grounded in reality. Daniels would have to move to Arizona's Legislative District 16 and obtain hundreds of signatures in the middle of a high-profile legal battle with the White House, just to gain the job of state representative.

Clark is undeterred. However, he admitted that when he has raised the idea with friends, some are "apprehensive" about Daniels as a politician because of her work in the adult film industry.

Interestingly, it's not the first time Daniels has been talked about as a candidate for public office.

A little-known fact about Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford): She considered running for the U.S. Senate in her home state of Louisiana back in 2009. A grassroots group called Draft Stormy wanted her to run against the conservative incumbent David Vitter, who was engulfed in a prostitution scandal. She even formed an exploratory committee to look into running against Vitter in the Republican primary before backing out of the race.

Because we live in the Upside Down, this isn't even the strangest recent event involving Townsend.

One day after the end of the Legislature session, Townsend asked Twitter to explain what a "furry" is, and members of the internet-based anthropomorphic-cartoon subculture happily obliged. The bizarre episode ended with Townsend changing her profile picture to her "fursona." A furry on Twitter graciously drew Townsend her alter ego — a cartoon lioness.

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