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After expulsion, the process begins to replace former Arizona GOP lawmaker

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Cameron Arcand

(The Center Square) – Following the expulsion of Republican Rep. Liz Harris from the state House, it’s now up to a mix of local and county officials to decide who will ultimately be her replacement.

Republican precinct committeemen in Legislature District 13 will choose three names to give to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who will have the final say in picking one of the three to fill Harris’s now vacant seat.

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The Arizona Republican Party said in a statement that the process of coming up with three names would be five days and that the Board of Supervisors does not necessarily have to go with their options. It can essentially be anyone that meets the qualifications in Legislative District 13 that’s a Republican.

According to AZ Law, the Board of Supervisors can assemble a group of citizens to decide who the replacement is if the precinct committeemen do not give them names in time to decide from. One likely name will be Julie Willoughby, according to the Arizona Capitol Times. Willoughby narrowly lost to Harris in the 2022 midterm election.

In addition, there is no law that gives the board a timeline for a new appointment.

The Board of Supervisors has a Republican majority, but they have been vocal against false claims regarding widespread election fraud in the 2020 and 2022 elections. Candidates with a record of election denial could see pushback. 

Lawmakers removed Harris in a 46-13 vote on Wednesday. She had an ethics complaint filed against her after facilitating a presentation by Scottsdale insurance agent Jacqueline Breger, in which many Arizona officials and the LDS church were falsely accused of having financial ties to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.