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Bill Gates won't seek reelection to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, who has faced threats and harassment for his defense of the county’s elections since certifying the vote in 2020, said Thursday he won’t seek reelection in 2024.

As a county board member, Gates and the other four supervisors have faced intense scrutiny from far-right forces convinced Maricopa County somehow rigged elections in an effort to oust former President Donald Trump in 2020, and then manipulated the vote against failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in 2022.

They even faced the threat of jail time before a vote by the Arizona state Senate to hold the entire county board in contempt narrowly failed in 2021.

But Gates in particular — having served as chairman in 2019 and 2022 — was often on the front lines defending Maricopa County against conspiracies of election fraud.

Both he and his family members — a wife and three daughters — faced threats that at times caused them to leave their home.

That took its toll. As reported by the Washington Post, Gates sought professional help in 2021 and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a result of his frequent battles against false claims about the county’s elections.

In a prepared statement, Gates did not explicitly tie his decision not to seek reelection to the vitriol he’s faced as a county official. But Gates made clear that, while he continues to serve out the remainder of his second term, he remains firm in his resolve regarding elections.

“My will to fight for the truth remains unhindered, and I look forward to Maricopa County running the 2024 election,” he said.

All five members of the Maricopa County Board – currently staffed by four moderate Republicans and one Democrat — are up for reelection in 2024.

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.