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Amish Shah Apparently Voted For Donald Trump. That’s Disqualifying

Steven Slugocki


The Arizona Capitol Times


May 25, 2024

Steven Slugocki served as Chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party from 2015 to 2020.

He was a Senior Advisor on the Fontes for Arizona Secretary of State 2022 campaign. He has

endorsed Conor O’Callaghan for Congress in AZ01.

Recently, I was saddened to learn that Dr. Amish Shah –a Democrat who represented one of the deepest blue districts in the state – apparently voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 primary election. While some have suggested he did this supposedly to help Hillary Clinton in the primary, Dr. Shah’s record as a registered Republican in Arizona and possibly an unaffiliated voter in New York for years before this vote gives me significant pause.

I served as the Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair from 2015 to 2020. These were tough years for our party. We endured the rise of Trumpism and the subsequent battles to regain control of Congress and the White House. This was grueling work. It took grit, determination, and personal sacrifice for those involved in turning the tide. We got huge wins in 2018 and 2020.

Together we saved our country. In the process, our party headquarters was firebombed, people endured personal threats against their lives (myself included) and the entire tenor of our political discourse changed. Not for the better. While I hope it is in decline, the age of Trump has been a dark chapter in American history and the former President remains an ever-present danger to our democracy. Those who opened the door for him and elevated him, bear responsibility for the current state of our nation.


Since the Supreme Court ruled that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land in the 1970s, Republicans have made it their mission to overturn it. This was clearly stated for half a century.

While I welcome party switchers and disenchanted Republicans into our Democratic tent, the truth is that to have been a Republican during this period is to have been at least ignorantly complicit in the GOP’s preferred pro-life policy goal, at worst it was willful compliance.

Dr. Shah served as a Democrat in the Arizona State Legislature, while he did do some good things it was evident that Republicans could get him to go their way more often than not. His votes against women’s access to over-the-counter contraceptives were disappointing, to say the least.

Now Dr. Shah is running for Congress in Congressional District 1 to defeat David Schweikert, an election denier and Trump supporter. We were all burned by Kyrsten Sinema, so I am highly skeptical about electing another Sinema-esc politician to Congress. I don’t want to replace Schweikert with Schweikert-light.

Regardless of that fear, I think that if you voted for Donald Trump at all in 2016 it is simply disqualifying. You shouldn’t be a Democratic nominee for federal office in this election cycle. Especially not with Trump on the ballot again and in a position to possibly regain the Presidency.

My concerns are not exclusive to Dr. Shah, I am equally concerned with Marlene Galan Woods. A Republican until 2018 who has had questionable positions on abortion and gay marriages. She has taken donations from election deniers and Schweikert supporters. She previously gave money to Governor Jan Brewer. There are numerous former Republicans running this cycle as seemingly pretend Democrats. Just look at the Sheriff’s race, look at the Senate race in Legislative District 24.

Everyone makes mistakes. None of us are perfect. We all deserve a shot at redemption. But voting for Trump under any circumstance is beyond the pale for a candidate seeking to represent the Democratic Party at the federal level. There will surely be those who try to make excuses for Dr. Shah but true Democrats understand how disingenuous gaslighting on this terrible vote is.

Dr. Shah’s vote for Trump coupled with his votes in the legislature against women and his past registration as a Republican means we can’t trust him as our Congressman in CD1. 

Image by Pau Casals
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