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After Ducey defends supporting Rogers, her inflammatory rhetoric spurs some GOP criticism

Wendy Rogers
Arizona Senate Republicans
Wendy Rogers

Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey defended spending roughly $500,000 to help elect Republican Wendy Rogers, a state senator known for lying about the results of the 2020 election, making inflammatory remarks on social media and her ties to the white nationalist movement.

Since then Rogers appeared at the America First Political Action Conference in Florida, an event organized by white nationalists, where she advocated for hanging “high-level criminals” — her political enemies   from gallows.

She’s also written tweets denigrating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “globalist puppet” amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Her latest remarks have been condemned by only a few Republicans — fellow state Sens. Paul Boyer and T.J. Shope, as well as Maricopa County Supervisors Bill Gates and Clint Hickman.

Boyer criticized Rogers for giving a speech at a conference condemned by the Republican Jewish Coalition as an “antisemitic white nationalist event.”

Shope tweeted support for Ukraine, and later called Rogers’ comments on the invasion “bullsh*t."

Gates and Hickman issued a joint statement Monday afternoon blasting Rogers for embracing “anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic rhetoric” and for condemning America’s allies while “she apologizes for Putin.”

“Wendy Rogers does not represent American values or interests,” the supervisors said. “I trust other business, community and political leaders will publicly condemn her hateful, dangerous, paranoid, un-American rhetoric.

As for Ducey, the governor on Thursday defended his investment in Rogers on the 2020 campaign trail as worthwhile — her victory helped ensure Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the Senate.

“What I need as a governor are governing majorities,” Ducey said. 

“What I've wanted to do is move my agenda forward. I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish,” Ducey added. “And she's still better than her opponent, Felicia French.”

French, a U.S. Army veteran, ran against Rogers as a Democrat in Legislative District 6.

Ducey was then asked what he thinks specifically of Rogers and her effort to drive the Republican Party in a direction more in line with her far-right views.

“Well, I said she's better than Felicia French,” Ducey said.

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.