House poised for new faces, new leaders

By Jakob Thorington || Arizona Capitol Times

The next Arizona House of Representatives will look much different than it did in 2022 with many members losing their primary election races or moving to a different area of government. 

What likely won’t change is Republicans will hold onto majority control in the House and a speaker of the House seat up for grabs. Majority Leader Ben Toma, R-Peoria, is said to be a candidate for the seat although he hasn’t publicly confirmed he’s running. Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale, announced he was running for the seat in a Turning Point Action rally in August.  

Toma, ESAs, vouchers, Save Our Schools Arizona, private schools, tuition, charter schools, public schools, AEA

Chaplik was critical of Speaker Russell Bowers, R-Mesa, at the rally, saying Bowers “refused to listen to the conservatives” and other Republican members of the Legislature to help pass a Democratic budget. 

“Arizona is aiming to make Florida jealous of our Legislature and how impactful we will be supporting Kari Lake,” Chaplik said. “We will rival Florida for the top spot in America, mark my words.” 

The Yellow Sheet Report, a sister publication of the Arizona Capitol Times, reported that activist groups campaigning for Chaplik and Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, for Senate pro tempore have made leadership races unusual this year. Groups including EZAZ and FreedomWorks have become more open about campaigning for their desired candidates after becoming frustrated with current leadership, Yellow Sheet reported. 

House leadership positions in both the majority and minority caucus are determined by a secret ballot among each party’s elected legislators after the general election.  

Rep. Tim Dunn, R-Yuma, confirmed he was making a bid for majority leader, along with Reps. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City; Gail Griffin, R-Hereford; and Steve Montenegro, a former representative and senator running in Legislative District 29. 

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