Arizona Democrat accuses fellow state lawmaker of misogynistic behavior
PHOENIX – An Arizona Democrat on Friday publicly accused a fellow state lawmaker of using misogynistic and profane language when talking about her to other officials and lobbyists.
District 3 Rep. Alma Hernandez of Tucson posted a letter to social media with the allegations against District 4 Rep. Brian Fernandez of Yuma, calling it “the sad duty of having to report one of our own.”
Hernandez wrote that Fernandez “has seemed to embrace a very Trumpian attitude towards me. He refers to me as a ‘fat f- – -‘ and that he ‘hates me’ multiple times … in public with other elected officials and lobbyists, many who have called me to explain they were not part of that behavior.”
Hernandez said Fernandez made the comments to “Republican members thinking they would agree.”
Fernandez had not issued a response when this story was published. A call made to the number listed for him on the Legislature’s website was answered with an automated message saying the customer was not taking calls at this time.
Hernandez wants House and Senate leadership to respond to her allegations.
“I ask that the caucus take a pledge to not engage in this type of behavior against women, and I am also asking that Brian take a sensitivity training,” she wrote.
House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding issued a statement saying there will be an investigation into the contents of Hernandez’ letter.
“The House of Representatives has a clear policy on Workplace Harassment that gives zero tolerance to this type of behavior,” Bolding said. “Pursuant to this policy, these allegations will be taken seriously, properly investigated and have been referred to the Rules Office.”
The accusations came with less than two months to go until the Nov. 8 general election.
Hernandez has already secured her reelection by coming out of last month’s primary as one of two Democratic nominees for two House seats in the newly drawn District 20. Republicans didn’t put up a candidate in the race.
Fernandez is running for state senator this year in the new and heavily Democratic District 23 against Republican Gary Garcia Snyder.
Last year, Fernandez was appointed to replace his mother, Charlene Fernandez, after she left her House seat for a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hernandez mentioned Charlene Fernandez in her letter Friday.
“She has fought these battles, as a woman, as a person of color, and as someone who grew up fighting for every opportunity,” Hernandez wrote. “However, in spite of being raised by a strong, successful woman, Mr. Fernandez said this. … This behavior is unbecoming of a legislator and should not be condoned by Democrats.”
We want to hear from you.
Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.