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Arizona official swipes at lawmakers with new vetting process after Jevin Hodge

A Maricopa County official is taking steps to try to ensure that the next lawmakers appointed by the county to the Arizona Legislature won’t resign in scandal. His method takes a bit of a dig at current lawmakers. 

County boards of supervisors are tasked with choosing replacements for lawmakers who leave their job early.

Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin says the board will pick a new lawmaker this week to replace Jevin Hodge, a recent House appointee who resigned after old allegations of sexual misconduct resurfaced

The board’s vetting process was criticized by GOP lawmakers following Hodge’s resignation. 

“The County Supervisors have been patting themselves on the back heartily for their self-imposed ‘vetting’ process when making appointments. … Clearly, their process is crap,” Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) posted on X at the time.

Galvin is now asking candidates to fill out a questionnaire assuring him that they won't engage in a list of behaviors that other lawmakers have.

“Since the county had come under some criticism from some quarters over the previous appointment, I just want to make it a point that before you throw stones, check if you're living in a glass house,” he said.

Galvin’s list includes “praising a white nationalist Holocaust denier,” which is partly what Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) was censured for in 2022, and “molesting a minor,” which former Democratic Sen. Tony Navarrete was convicted of this year.

The list also includes some things that former lawmakers (of both political parties) have done, or been accused of doing. 

"Sexually harassing a lobbyist by sending explicit photos and text messages, and propositions for sexual encounters” is something former Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita was accused of in 2020. She’s now running against Galvin for a spot on the board.

The questionnaire states: “The list above is not exhaustive. How can you assure the Board of Supervisors that, if appointed, you will not engage in disorderly behavior but will conduct yourself in a manner consistent with a proper code of ethics?”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct the text of Galvin’s list item on sexual harassment.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.