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Valley consultant worries political antics could cost Arizona’s economy

PHOENIX – The president of a Valley economics and policy consulting group said Wednesday that ongoing legal squabbles from Arizona’s Republican Party could cost the state’s economy in the long run.

“This is this continuing problem of looking for conspiracies,” Jim Rounds, president of Rounds Consulting, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Wednesday. “We’re starting to stand out as a state that’s causing problems again.”

On Tuesday, Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward filed a new lawsuit in an attempt to inspect both mail-in ballot signatures and duplicated ballots in metro Phoenix. In the lawsuit, Ward alleged that election officials did not give legal observers enough access to ballot processing.

Ward’s lawsuit marks the fifth election challenge filed in Maricopa County since Nov. 3. The previous four cases were dismissed, including one filed by the Arizona Republican Party that sought to determine whether voting machines were hacked.

No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona.

Rounds said these antics are things that CEOs and entrepreneurs who are looking for places to move their business see and take note of. Ultimately, it could push businesses away that are considering Arizona as a place to relocate their companies.

“A lot of people have been working really hard since the Great Recession to help advance the economy and we have another shot at it after we get through this COVID recession, but we’re setting ourselves back,” Rounds said.

Rounds said people have to put their political views aside and start thinking like economists to help businesses, schools and jobs. He also noted that Arizona won’t see as strong of growth if the political and economic disconnect continues.

“I think this is going to be the best decade that we’ve ever had. We can still have that opportunity but it is just infuriating to me that so many people have spent so much time working on the economy and we still can’t get together,” Rounds said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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