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Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman won't seek reelection

Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, who faced threats and harassment after voting to certify the county’s 2020 election results, announced Thursday he will not seek reelection. 

Hickman, a Republican who has represented District 4 in the West Valley since 2013, said the decision not to run for reelection was driven by a desire to spend more time with his family. He said it is the first time he has one child in college, another in high school and a third in elementary school.

“There’s so many life changing and life-forming experiences at these ages that I want to be there for my kids — my wife has been fantastic as a partner with this,” he said. “Last night, my Valentine’s Day gift to my family was a little box called time, and that time is going to be spent with them.”  

Hickman is the latest supervisor to announce his retirement, following fellow longtime Republican Supervisor Bill Gates, who announced last June that he would not seek reelection, either

Both faced threats and harassment in the wake of the 2020 election after they refused to lend credibility to former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud. That included a conspiracy theory that falsely claimed a fire at Hickman’s egg farm was used to cover up the destruction of ballots. 

And last August, an Iowa man was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for leaving a voicemail threatening to hang Hickman.

Hickman and Gates defended the integrity of the Maricopa County elections they helped administer, even as the county faced criticism for well-publicized Election Day printer issues in 2022.

The board, led by Hickman as chairman, retained former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to conduct an investigation into the cause of the printer issues

Neither Gates nor Hickman directly connected their decisions to retire directly to the harassment they faced in office.

“It’s just been a great experience,” Hickman said. “Even the tough experiences have been at least, minimum, learning experiences.”

Hickman said some of his proudest accomplishments while serving on the board of supervisors included overseeing explosive growth in the West Valley and investing money in services for residents.

“I put in my mind’s eye that I want to be the guy that opens more libraries than jails. That’s occurred,” he said.

Hickman said he doesn’t have a handpicked successor he would like to see replace him, though he noted that some of his loudest critics have yet to enter the race.

“They certainly shout and criticize, but some of the key critics or that group really didn’t have anyone to run against me…I hope this gives the ability for someone that has a passion and a vision  for growth of the West Valley to hurry up, get their feet wet and help the West Valley become  the paradise that I know that it is,” Hickman said.

Three Republicans have filed statements of interest to run for Hickman’s seat, including Peoria Councilman Jack Hastings. 

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.