Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri stepping down, cites political toxicity
PHOENIX — Republican Maricopa County Supervisor for District 2 Steve Chucri announced Tuesday night he is stepping down, saying in a statement the political landscape changed for the worst this year.
“The environment is wrought with toxicity – and all civility and decorum no longer seem to have a place,” Chucri, who will resign from his office on Nov. 5, said in the statement.
“The fixation with the 2020 election results and aftermath have gotten out of control.”
Chucri said in the statement that he was secretly recorded during a conversation in which he expressed differences with other supervisors regarding the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate’s audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, the results of which are set to be released this week.
“The comments I made were during a very turbulent time,” Chucri said. “My colleagues have every right to be both angry and disappointed with me. I should not have made such statements and offer my colleagues heartfelt apologies.”
The secret recordings were published Tuesday on the conservative website Gateway Pundit, which said they were recorded during a meeting on March 22 with leaders from a group called We the People AZ Alliance as well as a Jan. 22 phone call.
All five members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, including Chucri, have been highly critical of the Senate’s election review, led by consultants with no experience in election work and who have promoted baseless theories that the 2020 election was marred by fraud.
But in the March meeting, Chucri said Supervisors Jack Sellers and Bill Gates were scared by the idea of an election review because their own races were close.
“What would happen in those two races?” Chucri said. “And that is way too self-serving.”
He said Supervisor Clint Hickman “just didn’t have the guts” for an election audit. Hickman, Sellers and Gates are all Republicans.
Republican Senate President Karen Fann has said the aim of the audit is to restore faith in the election system and find ways to improve Arizona’s voting laws, not to reverse the result of the election.
However, many Donald Trump supporters still see it as a step toward invalidating Joe Biden’s victory and returning Trump to office.
“The picture some individuals are trying to paint about a cover-up, scam and other nonsense about my colleagues and myself is simply false,” Chucri said in his statement Tuesday.
“There was no cover-up, the election was not stolen. Biden won.”
Chucri said he may have had differences with fellow board members, but he knows them to be good, honorable and ethical men.
“While my comments were critical, it doesn’t change the fact I have had the pleasure and honor to serve with these fine men and the dedicated employees of Maricopa County,” he said.
Chucri is one of four Republicans on the five-member Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, with Steve Gallardo of District 5 being the only Democrat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.