Arizona Republican state Sen. Paul Boyer to not seek reelection next year
PHOENIX — Arizona Republican state Sen. Paul Boyer has decided to forego seeking reelection next year, a decision he said Wednesday had been years in the making.
“This is something that I have been wrestling with since 2019,” Boyer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Wednesday.
Boyer, who will serve out the remaining year of his term before moving on after a decade of service, said he spoke with a friend on the Senate floor before seeking reelection in 2020 and was convinced to run again to keep a Republican majority.
Over the past year, Boyer’s relationship with his party has been rocky as he’s locked horns with Republicans on a number of issues.
The Glendale lawmaker blocked Republican Senate President Karen Fann’s effort to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt over refusing to immediately hand over ballots from the 2020 election under a subpoena for the unprecedented partisan review of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Boyer also withheld his vote on the budget GOP legislative leaders were pushing until massive tax cuts were slimmed down to pay off more state debt and cities were assured stable revenue.
He has previously called the environment “toxic,” and said his desk was moved to the Democrat side of the aisle and he wasn’t given an explanation why.
“When it’s been healthy in the past, where you could go into Senate leadership as a caucus and talk about issues of disagreement and why the speaker of the house or Senate president is or isn’t doing something as opposed to just being told to go along with it and shut up,” Boyer said, adding members also go on social media and say nasty things about other members.
“You just don’t have the collegiality that used to have.”
Boyer has received death threats, needed security detail and even made changes to his home by ordering security doors.
“The worst part is when I’m at the Capitol and know my wife and young son are at home,” Boyer said.
“If they want to come after me that’s one thing, but not knowing what’s going on at the house and who may or may not be stopping by or driving by, that’s the most unsettling part.”
While he said the “ridiculousness” over the last year didn’t help, it really wasn’t a huge factor in his consideration to move on to other pursuits.
Boyer had already conceded that his time at the Capitol was over during election night in 2020 when he was down by 3,000 votes but said he was grateful to eventually win another two years so he could help as many people as he could.
In what could be another sticking point between Boyer and some members of the Senate, he vowed Wednesday that he would not vote to get rid of early voting because it is popular with voters of both parties and the state has been doing it for three decades.
Boyer expects to soon begin teaching at a community college.
In addition to Boyer, term-limited GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers said Wednesday that he is unlikely to make a run for a Senate seat.
Fann also announced on Nov. 1 that she would not seek another term.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.