Politics, tempers derail bipartisanship in House

By Katie Campbell | Arizona Capitol Times

It didn’t go well when Republican and Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives met on February 27.

There was a joke, an angry outburst, and they have not met since, ending a tradition observed under the previous House speaker.

House Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, said House Majority Leader Warren Petersen, a Gilbert Republican, had a short fuse.

“He got really angry at something I asked or said,” Fernandez said, later recalling she had commented to House Speaker Rusty Bowers that she’d be a lot nicer if – or when – she was in the speaker’s seat.

Fernandez said Bowers grinned at the comment, but she hit a nerve with Petersen, who agreed the meeting ended on a sour note. Bowers declined to comment.

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