Wil Cardon, Self-Funded U.S. Senate Candidate, Said Self-Funded Candidates Are "Just Trying to Buy an Election"

There are reasons political campaigns send "trackers" to follow every public move of their opponents, and collecting soundbites is one of the primary reasons.

Republican Congressman Jeff Flake's U.S. Senate campaign has provided a couple soundbites that were likely collected by "trackers," in which Flake's primary opponent Wil Cardon drops a couple head-scratching comments.

Among those comments, Cardon -- a mostly self-funded candidate, who loaned himself more than $4.2 million through the end of March -- said he's "not that guy" to fund his own campaign, and if you're relying on your own cash to run, Cardon said "you're just trying to buy an election or do something like that."

Maybe Cardon's just trying to "do something like that," seeing as only about $700,000 of the near $5 million Cardon raised through the end of March came from people not named Wil Cardon.

He's reportedly dumped about $3.1 million more of his own coin into his campaign since then.

Wil Cardon's not that kind of guy, according to Wil Cardon:

Flake's campaign says the audio was captured at a Cardon campaign event on October 29.

Then there's more Subway drama.

The Arizona Republic recently found Immigration and Customs Enforcement records stating that a bunch of the employees of Subway restaurants Cardon was involved with were alleged to be "undocumented alien workers."

Part of Cardon's response to the story was that he only owned part of the company that was among the several companies that own the stores.

"Wil doesn't run these stores," part of Cardon's statement said. "He doesn't do the hiring and firing. He doesn't examine the I-9s of line employees. And he has no involvement in the stores' daily operations."

Or, as Cardon said in March, "I've opened and started running several dozen Subway stores, in the Valley here, and around the state."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where attack-ad fodder comes from.

As you can imagine, after more than 10 years in Congress, Cardon's got some material on Flake to work with too.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley