By midnight on primary election night, Aug. 2, with 82 percent of precincts reporting, the Arizona Republican primary race for governor was too close to call. The early ballots were counted first, showing Karrin Taylor Robson in the lead by several points, but local reporter Jeremy Duda, who has covered elections in Arizona for years, tweeted that the type of voters who would favor Trump-endorsed Kari Lake were far more likely this year to vote on election day than by early ballot. This is because of concern over ballot fraud, especially with mail-in ballots.
As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Lake held a narrow lead of 46 percent to 44 percent over Robson with 635,000 votes counted and an additional 125,000 votes (a combined total from both the GOP and Democrat primaries) expected to be counted some time later in the day.
The Arizona Republican Party’s Executive Committee formally censured Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) this week, calling on Republicans to vote him out of office during the primary election this year, and urging his Legislative District 10 and the Maricopa County Republican Party to issue their own censures.
The two-page censure contains a lengthy list of Bowers’ actions on bills in the Arizona Legislature, and declares he is “unfit to serve the platform of the Republican Party and will of the voter of the Republican Party of Arizona.” AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward tweeted, “he is no longer a Republican in good standing & we call on Republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the August primary.”
State Representative Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) is facing stiff competition for the Republican nomination for the state senate seat he is now running for, political watchers say, as the term-limited Arizona House Speaker campaigns against the well-known, Trump-endorsed former State Senator David Farnsworth to represent the people of the 10th Legislative District.
State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) warned that Bowers is a “career politician” who “will betray you repeatedly then lie to make you think they were on your side the whole time.” In a post on Telegram, he relayed a couple of his bad experiences in the Arizona Legislature with Bowers, while refuting Bowers’ new campaign ad.
State House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) considered sending armed Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers after two conservative legislators during remarks on the State House floor, despite State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) telling multiple members of House leadership and their staff that there would not be enough legislators present for a vote on Tuesday to hear election integrity bills.
“This is sadly just another in a long list of examples of systematically failed leadership and near-total dysfunction in the House under Rusty Bowers,” Hoffman told The Arizona Sun Times. “Leadership knew full well they would not have the votes to pass partisan bills, yet they chose to play games with one of the most important issues facing our state – election integrity. Any claim that leadership was unaware they would be missing votes is at best pure fiction, and at worst intentionally misleading.”
In reaction to the mass shooting inside of a Texas elementary school, Arizona lawmakers seek to explore their options to help teenagers struggling with mental health issues.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers appointed State Representative Joanne Osborne, R-Goodyear, to chair a new Ad Hoc Committee on Teen Mental Health this week.
Over 70 election integrity-related bills have been proposed in the Arizona Legislature since the highly questioned 2020 election, as well as ballot initiatives. Lee Miller, a former attorney for the Arizona Republican Party, recently filed paperwork launching a petition drive to get the “Easier to Vote, Harder to Cheat Act” as an initiative on the ballot this fall. The initiative makes it easier to vote in four ways and harder to cheat in five ways. One of the provisions would shorten the time allowed for tabulating ballots.
Valerie Grosso-Turley, founder of the grassroots Arizona-based America Pack, looked at the initiative and told the Arizona Sun Times, “With the continued skepticism of the 2020 election still top of mind of many voters, Arizona’s extended ballot-counting process adds to the distrust and suspicion of voters. Every voter must have confidence in our elections regardless of party affiliation. Polling has consistently shown that a majority of Republicans believe Biden won through fraud. I don’t know if the ‘easier to vote, harder to cheat act’ is the solution, but I do support the ongoing conversation to find a solution.”
State Rep. John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction) introduced one of the most sweeping election integrity bills this session, but it appears all but doomed due to a rare procedural maneuver deliberately made to stop it by House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa). Bowers scheduled all 12 House committees to hear HB 2596, basically guaranteeing it will never reach the floor since some of the committees won’t bother to hear it.
“Canvass Queen” Liz Harris, so named after conducting an 11-month long independent grassroots audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, told The Arizona Sun Times she was extremely disappointed Bowers did this considering she is certain there was massive fraud. “From the canvassing I’ve done, this is what I realized needs to happen,” she said. She explained that other election integrity legislation is composed of single-issue bills which will only fix one area in the elections process, allowing fraud to move to other areas.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who has been very public with his opinion that there was no voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, has formed a PAC to support Republican candidates who also believe there was no voter fraud. Called Pro-Democracy Republicans of Arizona, the only interview he appears to have given about it is to the far left Arizona Mirror.
The Arizona Sun Times asked him why he was so opposed to investigating the 2020 election for voter fraud, and he responded, “I was consistently opposed to conspiracy theorist partisans with no election experience doing a review.” He referred The Times to a letter he wrote in August.