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AZ secretary of state finds 'reasonable cause' that Rep. Justin Heap violated campaign finance law

Arizona state Rep. Justin Heap in 2023.
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Arizona state Rep. Justin Heap in 2023.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office found reasonable cause to believe Republican state Rep. Justin Heap violated state campaign finance law. 

Democratic strategist Tony Cani asked the secretary of state to investigate Heap in February for failing to report five donations totaling about $2,500 from political action committees on a campaign finance report for 2023.

The donations in question came from PACs connected to mining company Freeport-McMoran, Arizona Association of Realtors, the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, and APS parent-company Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. 

At the time, Heap, who is now running for Maricopa County recorder, said he does not accept PAC donations. He claimed the checks in question were either destroyed or returned

In a notice sent to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, Colleen Connor, the secretary of state’s director of policy, said she found reasonable cause to believe Heap violated a state law that requires candidates to report all PAC donations. 

The attorney general may now conduct its own investigation and can require Heap to come into compliance with state law. If he fails to do so, the attorney general can levy a civil penalty equal to the amount of the violation, according to the law.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office declined to comment.

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.