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Julie Willoughby to replace Liz Harris for Legislative District 13 Arizona House seat

In a 4-1 vote on Friday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has picked a replacement for ousted Arizona lawmaker Liz Harris.

Legislative District 13 covers a portion of Chandler and Gilbert.

Republican Julie Willoughby is an emergency-room nurse who was a candidate for the same seat in November but lost.

Harris was ousted after a woman she invited to testify at the Capitol made false accusations that lawmakers and judges took bribes from drug cartels. An ethics report later found Harris lied to investigators about her knowledge of the woman’s testimony.

Harris was later named as one of the three candidates for her own replacement. 

"I believe she has the right to pursue a remedy through any lawful means that may be available to her. I also believe that this board must consider the 46 votes from the Arizona House members who made a choice to create this vacancy," Board Vice Chairman Jack Sellers said.

Democrat Steve Gallardo was the lone no vote against Willoughby, who believes the county’s election system is flawed. 

"If they’re not willing to stand up publicly, to say what has been gone, the big lie, the conspiracies, the unfounded claims are exactly that: false. I can’t vote for them, I just can’t," Gallardo said.

Willoughby will serve through the end of 2024.

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Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.