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Republican state lawmaker to run against Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

A first-term Republican state lawmaker wants to unseat Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who is also a Republican. 

The Washington Post’s Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez reported that Rep. Justin Heap (R-Mesa) told a Republican club in Mesa that he plans to enter the recorder’s race.  Heap is a member of the Arizona House Freedom Caucus, a group led by Sen. Jake Hoffman, one of the fake electors who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Richer has faced criticism, and sometimes threats, from some fellow Republicans spurred by false claims of widespread voter fraud in Maricopa County’s elections.

Heap declined to confirm he is running for county recorder.

“There’s a press conference tomorrow,” Heap said. “We’ll see you there.”  

Four other Republicans have filed statements of interest to run in the recorder race, including Clair Van Steenwyk, who lost to Richer in the 2020 Republican primary.

Richer said he welcomes the competition.

“The more the merrier…I’m the only one who already has the signatures, has raised more money than all other candidates combined by a lot, has countywide name ID, and has shown I can win a competitive general election,” Richer said.

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.