Over the last week, the GOP which regularly touts its commitment to inclusion and family values has nominated a self-admitted white nationalist and Confederate supporter to run for the Senate in Virginia and a brothel owner to run for a Congressional seat in Nevada.
With examples such as these, it should be no surprise that an individual expelled from the Arizona State House of Representatives for sexual harassment would think he would have an opportunity to elevate himself to the Arizona State Senate.
Like many reactionary and self-absorbed members of his party, Don Shooter is one of the worst examples of public servants in Arizona.
In some ways, Democrats should hope he gets the nomination. Shooter, along with “let’s take away your rights” Vince Leach, “ISIS is going to invade us from Mexico” Mark Finchem and “There are not enough white kids” David Stringer are poster candidates for why the Democrats need to return to power. However, decency prevails and the residents of LD 13 should not reward bad behavior and allow Shooter to run for the State Senate.
Arizona State Legislative District 13 is very large and encompasses parts of both Maricopa and Yuma Counties. It includes parts or all the cities and towns of Yuma, Glendale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Avondale, and Surprise.
Elected twice to the State Senate in 2012 and 2014 and to the House in 2016, Shooter ran on a platform of school choice, budget cuts, balancing the budget, enforcing immigration laws, and supporting the military.
Serving as a State Senator and Representative, Shooter has either sponsored, supported or voted for measures that hurt people and are contrary to what would be considered forward-looking, decent, or even democratic. These include:
- Supported making it harder for statewide initiatives and referendums to get on the ballot.
- Supported requiring doctors to revive aborted fetuses.
- Supported the purchase of firearms without a background check.
- Supported doing away with some campaign finance reform rules.
- Supported the concealed carry of weapons in public buildings.
- Opposed sanctuary cities to receive funding.
- Supported doing away with the Clean Elections Commission.
- Opposed health insurance coverage for a woman’s right to choose.
- Supported the creation of vouchers and tax cuts for the rich to send their children to private school.
- Opposed Common Core education standards.
- Supported establishing work requirements for Medicaid recipients.
- Opposed Medicaid eligibility for potential recipients.
- Opposed new measures on car seats for children.
Even taking into account Shooter’s reactionary record, it is important to remember that the Arizona State House, by a 56 to 3 vote, expelled Shooter from his seat as a State Representative for harassing women over a several year period. He is the first member of the State Legislature to be expelled in 26 years. Furthermore, his belligerent behavior during these proceedings, going to and from legislative offices, saying this “was a good day for a hanging” caused such alarm that the Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard demanded that Shooter turn over a gun in his office before security escorted him off the capitol grounds.
With his reactionary record and ungentlemanly behavior taken into account, Don Shooter does not deserve to run for office again. Some in his party agree with this point, contending that he no longer meets the residency requirements to run in LD 13. If he is allowed to run and secure the nomination, Republicans and Democrats need to rally behind the likely Democratic nominee for the Senate seat, Air Force Veteran Michelle Harris, a person that will demonstrate more honor and character than Shooter possibly can.