Recall Effort Against Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers Fails

By Ben Giles
Published: Friday, June 18, 2021 - 4:36pm
Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 11:10am

Rusty Bowers
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Rusty Bowers in 2019.

A campaign to recall Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers failed on a technicality.

Backers of the effort to oust Bowers, a Mesa Republican, submitted an estimated 24,500 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office ahead of a June 17 deadline. Had all the signatures been validated, it was enough to meet the 22,331 signature threshold required to trigger a recall election for the House speaker.

But each of the more than 2,000 petition sheets submitted by Bowers’ foes were missing a crucial form.

Arizona law requires a recall application to be stapled to each petition sheet before the signatures are turned to the Secretary of State’s Office. Without that form, all of the petition sheets were invalidated by law.

State elections director Sambo Dul explained the error in a letter to Tory Smock, a member of the Patriot Party of Arizona who helped lead the recall campaign.

“No sheets were eligible for signature review by the Secretary of State’s Office. Therefore, there are zero signatures eligible for verification by the County Recorder,” Dul wrote.