Arizona Republican resigns after secret recording released
PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona Republican official resigned Tuesday from the board of directors overseeing Maricopa County after a record emerged criticizing his GOP peers for resisting a 2020 election review.
During the meeting, which was secretly taped last March, Supervisor Steve Chucri suggested that two Republican district overseers oppose Senate Republican scrutiny because they nearly lost their own 2020 races.
Chucri apologized in a statement announcing his resignation, saying he shouldn't have made the comments, adding, "The political landscape has changed for the worst this year".
"The environment is toxic - and there seems to be no place for all courtesy and decency," said Chucri. "The fixation on the 2020 election results and the consequences have gotten out of hand."
Maricopa County became ground zero in efforts by supporters of former President Donald Trump to use false fraud allegations to cast doubt on the 2020 election results. Chucri's resignation comes as Trump supporters, hired by the state Senate Republicans, prepare to share their findings from an unprecedented partisan review of the 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, the machines they counted, and one Publish a variety of other data obtained through a legislative subpoena.
Chucri said his comments about his colleagues were mistakenly used to paint a picture "about a cover-up, fraud and other nonsense" and vouched for the accuracy of the results.
"There was no cover-up, the election was not stolen," said Churci. "Biden won."
He said he did not agree with his colleagues, but he knew them to be "good, honorable and ethical men".
Chucri's resignation will take effect November 5th. In his third term in office, he represents the eastern part of the Maricopa district, the fourth largest in the country and home to the Phoenix metropolitan area. During his tenure, Chucri remained the chairman of the Arizona Restaurant Association, an influential lobby group.
The secret footage was posted on conservative Gateway Pundit website Tuesday, which said it was taken during a March 22nd meeting with leaders of a group called We the People AZ Alliance and a January 22nd phone call.
All five members of Maricopa County's board of directors, including Chucri, have been very critical of the Senate electoral review, led by advisors with no experience in electoral work, who have spread unsubstantiated theories that the 2020 elections were marred by fraud.
But at the March meeting, Chucri said overseers Jack Sellers and Bill Gates were afraid of the idea of an election review because their own races were close.
"What would happen in these two races?" said Chucri. "And that's way too selfish."
He said Supervisor Clint Hickman "just didn't have the guts" to take an election test. Hickman, Sellers, and Gates are all Republicans.
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