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Disgraced former Rep. Don Shooter files to run for Arizona Senate

(AP Photo/Bob Christie,File)

PHOENIX — Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter, who was from expelled from his office earlier this year after breaking sexual harassment policies, has filed to run for state senate, the Arizona Secretary of State’s office confirmed Wednesday.

Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Secretary of State Michele Reagan, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that Shooter has submitted the necessary signatures to run for the position.

Candidates needed to turn in at least 474 signatures by 5 p.m. on Wednesday in order to run as a Republican for the legislative office. Roberts said Shooter turned in nearly double — 828.

Shooter filed to run for Legislative District 13, which encompasses part of southern Arizona. He held the seat from 2013 to 2017 before serving in the House.

Shooter will join a small Republican primary: At least two candidates — Brent Backus and Sine Kerr — had filed to run for the Republican party, while Michelle Harris was the lone Democratic candidate, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Shooter floated another state Legislature run as recently as Tuesday, saying it was willing to serve at the statehouse again if a small group of Republicans can gather enough petition signatures for him to qualify for the ballot.

The Arizona House voted to expel Shooter in February, following an extensive investigation that found the Arizona Republican violated House policy numerous times when interacting with multiple women.

Shooter’s misconduct was first made public after state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who is also a Republican, accused him of behaving inappropriately toward her over a period of years. At least three other female lawmakers also claimed that he harassed them.

He was the first lawmaker voted out of his seat since the start of the #MeToo movement. Other lawmakers, such as former Rep. Trent Franks, resigned amid sexual harassment or misconduct allegations.

Shooter has filed a notice of claim — as a precursor to a lawsuit — against the House speaker and Gov. Doug Ducey’s chief of staff, seeking $1.3 million over his exit from the Legislature.