Ex-lawmaker expelled for misconduct open to serving again
PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona legislator who was expelled for sexual misconduct says he's willing to serve at the statehouse again if a small group of Republicans can gather enough petition signatures for him to qualify for the ballot.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports that former Rep. Don Shooter said earlier this month that he wouldn't run for public office again. But Shooter has since said he'd be willing to serve again, but only if a small group of supporters gathers his petition signatures.
Shooter was the first state lawmaker in the United States to be expelled for sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began.
A state House investigation found Shooter had sexually harassed colleagues and lobbyists. Shooter has filed a notice of claim — as a precursor to a lawsuit — against the House speaker and Gov. Doug Ducey's chief of staff, seeking $1.3 million over his exit from the Legislature.
Shooter wouldn't say how many signatures he already gathered prior to his expulsion or speculate on the odds he'll gather the 474 petitions necessary to qualify for the Republican primary.
"I don't know, but we're going to find out," he said. "Then we'll find out if the voters really care about the stuff that's happened or if they care about having an effective legislature."
If he qualifies, Shooter would be a candidate for the district's state Senate seat, which he held from 2013 to 2017 before serving in the House.
Constantin Querard, Shooter's former consultant who now represents incumbent Sen. Sine Kerr, said his recollection is that Shooter had somewhere between 400 and 500 signatures collected last year — a candidate would be well served to submit at least 700 to make up for invalid signatures.