Recall effort against Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers appears to fall short

House Speaker Rusty Bowers/Arizona Capitol Times

By Mary Jo Pitzl | Arizona Republic

House Speaker Rusty Bowers presides before Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address at the Arizona State Capitol on January 13, 2020.

An attempted recall of House Speaker Rusty Bowers appears to have fallen flat, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office says.

Recall backers turned in what they estimated as 24,500 signatures, which on its face would be more than enough to trigger a recall election for Bowers, R-Mesa.

But elections officials noticed a technical flaw: Each of the signature sheets they reviewed early Thursday evening did not have the recall application attached to them, as required by state law.

C. Murphy Hebert, communications director for the Secretary of State’s Office, said that would disqualify the petitions. She added further review is ongoing.

Bowers was stunned by the development.

“I was gearing up to go through a recall,” he said.

The Patriot Party of Arizona launched the recall drive in February, citing a litany of complaints that included not supporting an audit of the 2020 presidential election. They needed to collect the valid signatures of 22,331 registered voters in Bowers’ Mesa district to trigger a recall election.

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