Maricopa County supervisors taking their time in appointing Harris replacement
Republicans in the Arizona House of Representatives lost their slim majority when Rep. Liz Harris was expelled from the chamber last week, and it doesn’t look like the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is in any hurry to appoint her replacement.
Harris, an election-denying Republican from Chandler, was expelled from her seat representing Legislative District 13 last week for inviting a woman who spread unfounded criminal allegations during a elections committee presentation and then lying about her prior knowledge of the presentation to the House Ethics Committee.
On April 17, the GOP precinct committeemen from Legislative District 13 gathered for a lengthy meeting during which they nominated three candidates for Harris’ replacement. Harris was nominated, as was Julie Willoughby, who ran as a team with Harris and finished third in the November election, and Harris ally Steve Steele.
While Harris supporters have called for her reinstatement — some of them even protested outside of Monday’s meeting of committeemen — it’s unlikely that Maricopa County supervisors will appoint her to the seat.
Harris has been an outspoken critic of elections in Maricopa County since 2020 and the supervisors have been blamed, at least in part, for their perceived lack of oversight in those elections, something the supervisors have continually defended themselves against.
The precinct committeemen have already forwarded their nominees for Harris’ seat to the supervisors. While state law requires the committeemen to make their nominations within five days, the supervisors don’t have a deadline for appointing a nominee.
The board of supervisors will meet on April 24, but there is no plan to appoint Harris’ replacement during that meeting, according to a press statement from the county.
Instead they plan to consult with their legal counsel to answer any questions they might have and to get guidance on the appointment process. The county has not announced a date for when it plans to vote on the appointment. The board is also considering nominees for Legislative District 26, where Raquel Teran resigned from the Senate to run for Congress.
“Consistent with how the Board has approached other appointments of this nature, members plan to conduct background checks and interviews prior to taking any action,” Maricopa County said in a statement.
The board has not said when it plans to meet to vote on filling either legislative vacancy.
This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.