Speaker David Gowan reshapes Arizona House, from the carpets on up

David Gowan confers with a House colleague.
David Gowan confers with a House colleague.

By Fernanda Santos | The New York Times

When lawmakers in the Arizona House of Representatives went looking for a new speaker in late 2014, they turned to David M. Gowan, an unassuming Republican legislator whom colleagues on both sides of the aisle saw as someone they could work with.

But Mr. Gowan has proved to be anything but. He has angered lawmakers from the right and left since assuming the post in January 2015, putting his own stamp on a legislative body that has garnered its share of attention for its far-right leanings on issues like immigration and abortion.

Right after approving a budget last year that forced state agencies to make another round of cuts, Mr. Gowan, a conservative who makes his home in a rural border county in southeastern Arizona, embarked on a redecorating spree.




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