By Carmen Forman | Arizona Capitol Times
On the eve of Arizona GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines’ re-election bid, two failed GOP candidates sued him for defamation.
Former Rep. Maria Syms and her husband Mark Syms allege Lines, in speaking at a GOP meeting, wrongfully accused them of committing fraud when he discussed Maria Syms’ failed re-election bid in Legislative District 28 and her husband’s failed attempt to run as an independent against Republican Sen. Kate Brophy McGee.
The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court Wednesday alleges Lines said at a Jan. 9 Legislative District 26 meeting that the Syms’ “committed fraud” in trying to unseat a fellow Republican and that Maria Syms was “convicted and she was … ordered to pay over $70,000 of restitution to Sen. Kate Brophy McGee.”
Lines went on to say he and Gov. Doug Ducey sat down with Syms and tried to convince her against her husband running against an incumbent Republican, which could put Republicans at risk of losing the Senate in the 2018 elections, according to the lawsuit.
A brief recording obtained by Arizona Capitol Timesconfirms Lines made the statements detailed in the lawsuit.