Here’s why Clint Hickman wanted mercy for man who made election-related threats against him

Aug 29, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:10 pm

Maricopa County District 4 Supervisor Clint Hickman (Maricopa County Photo)...

Maricopa County District 4 Supervisor Clint Hickman (Maricopa County Photo)

(Maricopa County Photo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman sat in a courtroom Monday and asked for mercy for the Iowa man who was found guilty of sending threatening messages to him regarding the 2020 election.

Hickman, a Republican, asked for leniency for Mark Rissi, 64, of Hiawatha, despite Rissi leaving Hickman a voicemail that ended with “You’re gonna die, you piece of [expletive]. We’re going to hang you. We’re going to hang you” in September 2021.

Rissi was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Dominic Lanza, a sentence that Lanza said needed to happen, according to Hickman.

“I gave the judge the ability to offer mercy and compassion for a guy that should not be spending maybe some of his last years on this earth in a jail cell,” Hickman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday. “And I asked for compassion and mercy.”

“The judge heard that and then the judge said, ‘Listen, we have to prove a point. This is the judicial system and punishment needs to be meted out.'”

What were the threats Rissi made?

Hickman and former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich were the targets of Rissi nearly a year after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump for the presidency.

Rissi reached out to Hickman before leaving Brnovich, also a Republican, this voicemail in December 2021.

“This message is for Attorney General Mark Brnovich … I’m a victim of a crime. My family is a victim of a crime. My extended family is a victim of a crime. That crime was the theft of the 2020 election. The election that was fraudulent across the state of Arizona, that the Attorney General knows was fraudulent, that the Attorney General has images of the conspirators deleting election fraud data from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors computer system. Do your job, Brnovich, or you will hang with those [expletive] in the end. We will see to it. Torches and pitchforks. That’s your future, [expletive]. Do your job.”

Rissi pleaded guilty to two counts of making a threatening interstate communication in April and could have faced up to five years in prison on each count.

“I purposely had the prosecution read the threat into the public record to hear what this man said,” Hickman said.

“I wanted to be there to look at this man in the eye, five states over… I wanted him to know, to see me in the flesh and go like, “You and what army, buddy?’ And it didn’t happen for him.”

The effect of the election threats

Hickman said his 94-year-old father called him Monday to tell him he was worried about his family and hoped threats and any discussion regarding them would come to an end soon.

Hickman admitted the threat did cause harm to his family.

“The madness needs to stop,” Hickman said. “We need to be better to our fellow man.”

He encouraged those interested in politics to not shy away from entering the field despite his experiences.

“Please don’t let this scare you away,” Hickman said. “Come and work in the election system. [2024] is going to be a huge election for our country and our country’s future.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

41 minutes ago

Operation Makeup Break Up...

Serena O'Sullivan

3 West Valley women accused of selling stolen merchandise out of their homes

Three West Valley women have been indicted for operating illicit businesses from their home using stolen merchandise, authorities said.

1 hour ago

Aircraft perform a flyover during the Global Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 4, 2022 in San ...

David Veenstra

Scottsdale Airport to show ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ for its first movie night

Scottsdale Airport will offer a starlit screening of "Top Gun: Maverick" on Saturday with Tom Cruise soaring as a daring naval aviator.

4 hours ago

File photo of a prison fence with barbed wire on top. Broderrick Ramon Coggeshell was sentenced Mon...

Arizona drunk driver sentenced to 9 years in prison for causing fatal crash in 2022

An Arizona man was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for causing a fatal crash in 2022 while driving drunk, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Preparations are underway for the Home & Garden Show's Floral Showcase at WestWorld of Scottsdale. ...

David Veenstra

Maricopa County Home and Garden Show’s new Floral Showcase coming to Scottsdale this weekend

The Maricopa County Home and Garden show's Floral Showcase is coming to the Valley for the first time this weekend.

7 hours ago

Screenshot of video taken at the scene of a multivehicle crash in Scottsdale on April 18, 2024....

Multiple patients treated after crash involving 5 vehicles in Scottsdale

Three people were taken to hospitals and six others were treated at the scene after a multivehicle crash in Scottsdale on Thursday.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Here’s why Clint Hickman wanted mercy for man who made election-related threats against him