Arizona political coalition urges Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn Sen. Wendy Rogers
PHOENIX – An Arizona political coalition is calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to denounce state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her controversial response to the recent deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York.
Activate 48 sent Ducey a letter on Monday urging him to “condemn her behavior, oppose her re-election bid and ask her to resign.”
The group sent its letter two days before the GOP-led state Senate’s ethics committee voted to formally investigate Rogers’ online comments after the shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that authorities are calling a hate crime.
“Our responsibility as a coalition of civic organizations led by people of color is to say enough is enough — white supremacy has no place in our politics and racist ideologues should never hold elected office,” the letter says. “Your responsibility as governor is to ensure Sen. Rogers cannot be allowed to propagate hate against a majority of Arizona’s constituents.”
Activate 48 — a progressive coalition that includes activist groups LUCHA; Mi Familia Vota; Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona; and Chispa Arizona — called the ethics investigation a distraction “from real consequences Sen. Rogers must face” and expressed doubt that the Senate will take action against Rogers.
“She has repeatedly aligned herself with an ideology that asserts anti-Semitism, ethnocentrism, and extremism,” the letter says. “She is a self-proclaimed member of the Oath Keepers and has echoed a dangerous ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory that is partly responsible for claiming ten lives in Buffalo.”
Rogers responded to news of the shooting with a tweet — “Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo” – that appears to blame the attack that left 10 people dead on federal agents.
Authorities say the attack, which occurred in a predominantly Black neighborhood, was an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.”
Payton Gendron, a white 18-year-old man who reportedly posted online about his white supremacist beliefs, was arrested at the scene.
After the Senate voted last week to refer Rogers to the ethics committee over her post, she issued a statement saying the “comment was taken completely out of context and became a false narrative.” Her statement attacked the media but didn’t include any explanation of what she meant by the tweet.
Democrats wanted to expel Rogers, who was censured by the Senate on March 1 after she spoke at a white nationalist gathering and said her political opponents should face a “newly built set of gallows.”
Ducey and Rogers are both Republicans, and his political action committee reportedly helped fund her successful Senate campaign in 2020.
“Governor, you spent nearly $500,000 to elect Sen. Rogers in 2020 and have stood by your support,” the letter says. “Do you agree with the messages Sen. Rogers is sending Arizona’s children? Are you condoning the way she is promoting hate and endangering the people of color in Arizona?”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.