Maricopa County’s Clint Hickman on election threats: ‘It has to stop’
Feb 2, 2023, 4:05 AM | Updated: 5:24 am
(Maricopa County Photo via Cronkite News)
PHOENIX – The chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said he’s sick and tired of violent threats aimed at elections workers who are just doing their jobs.
“Their main crime is answering the phone and trying to help people get information, and to have threats of violence toward them just because they have the audacity to answer the phone and try to point people to where they can get information, it has to stop,” Clint Hickman, a Republican, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.
A day earlier, Hickman issued a statement denouncing threats after audio circulated online (WARNING: explicit language) of somebody telling a Maricopa County elections worker “someone should shoot you in the head.”
“I call on the [state] Senate Elections Committee and losing political candidates to stop spreading or amplifying lies about elections that inflame the passions of people who don’t know any better or don’t want to know any better,” Hickman said in the statement.
The Republican said he wants the focus to be on all the great things about living in Arizona with so many visitors heading to town in the coming days for the Super Bowl and the WM Phoenix Open.
“That message was for business owners, that message is for residents, to say, ‘Let’s stop this. Let’s quit amplifying this, all the way back to 2020, and let’s go forward and stop this behavior that would be probably get your nose broke on a playground,” he said.
Hickman said the county’s elections department has been losing good people because of the threats, including one against him allegedly made by an Iowa man who will be going on trial soon in federal court.
Another case is pending against a Missouri man who is accused of threatening Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.
“I can’t totally blame these threats on local individuals, but I can blame the messaging starting with the local area getting fanned out across the United States, and people think they’re immune. … It’s going past state lines,” Hickman said.
Hickman said he’s been in touch with Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, and new Democratic Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes about his concerns.
“People have to understand when they pick up the phone, it’s not just a crank call. … This is a felony when it comes to threats,” he said.