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Sen. Wendy Rogers' Republican opponent says 2020 election wasn't stolen

Rep. David Cook
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
David Cook

Rep. David Cook said he does not believe the 2020 election was stolen, which sets him apart from his opponent in a hotly-contested Republican state Senate primary election.

Cook, who currently serves in the Arizona House of Representatives, is running to unseat Sen. Wendy Rogers to represent Legislative District 7. The expansive district covers parts of Coconino, Gila, Navajo and Pinal counties.

During a forum hosted by the Clean Elections Commission, Cook didn’t mention his opponent by name. But he criticized people like Rogers, who spread baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Cook argued it is those people, not actual widespread fraud, that is lessening confidence in Arizona’s elections.

“What is not giving confidence to the people in my district are these people with these blanket statements that have no facts to back anything up…these things have been litigated,” Cook said. “There have been evidentiary hearings, no court system has ever upheld any legitimacy.”

Rogers, who did not participate in the forum, has gained national attention — and raised more campaign dollars than any legislative candidate in state history — while championing false fraud claims by Trump and other candidates who lost in Arizona in 2020 and 2022.

Cook said he believes there is some fraud in all elections, pointing to isolated fraud cases in Pinal County, but said claims that Democrats actually stole the election from Republican candidates don’t make sense. He pointed out that Republicans maintained their legislative majorities in both the Arizona House and Senate in both 2020 and 2022, and some top of the ticket Republicans won in those years, like Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne.

“What about all the Republicans that won? Are you telling me that someone's gonna steal an election for one or two seats, but they're not going to take over the state Legislature?” Cook said.

Rogers, who was first elected to the Senate in 2020, chairs the Senate’s influential Elections Committee. She has used that post to empower others spreading false information about election fraud and platform dozens of bills seeking to change Arizona’s election processes.

Cook acknowledged there may be problems with election administration in places like Maricopa County, which faced long lines at voting centers in 2022 after well-publicized ballot printer problems.

But Cook said the rural communities he represents don’t face those same problems and lawmakers in Maricopa County should be the ones focusing on finding solutions to those issues.

“Our problems are not their problems,” Cook said.

However, Legislative District 7 includes parts of Pinal County, which was plagued by election miscues and mistakes in 2022 like ballot shortages at polling places and a failure to tally hundreds of ballots.

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.