ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona GOP lawmaker drops reelection campaign after forgery allegations

Apr 19, 2024, 6:04 AM | Updated: 6:33 am

A conservative lawmaker, Austin Smith, halted his reelection campaign for the Arizona House of Repr...

A conservative lawmaker, Austin Smith, halted his reelection campaign for the Arizona House of Representatives after being accused of forging signatures on his petitions. (Arizona House of Representatives and AP photos)

(Arizona House of Representatives and AP photos)

PHOENIX (AP) — A leader of the conservative group Turning Point Action resigned from the organization Thursday and dropped his bid for reelection to the Arizona House of Representatives after he was accused of forging signatures on his nominating petitions.

Republican state Rep. Austin Smith has in the past promoted disproven allegations of election fraud.

A complaint filed by a Democratic activist in Smith’s district says several petition sheets contain signatures “that appear to have been written by the same person” and says “many of those signatures bear a striking resemblance to Smith’s.” It includes affidavits from two voters whose names were included in Smith’s petition but say they never signed.

Smith cast the allegations as a coordinated attack by Democrats that was “silly on its face,” but said he would drop out to avoid racking up legal bills.

“I might be confident in victory, but all it would take is a judge believing any one person, and all would be lost,” Smith said in a statement he posted to social media.

Smith was a senior director of Turning Point Action, the campaign arm of the youth organizing group Turning Point USA, which has become a major force in Arizona Republican politics and is working to expand its influence nationally. A spokesperson for the group confirmed Thursday that Smith had resigned.

Smith is a first-term lawmaker in a safe Republican legislative district in the Phoenix suburbs, but his departure from the race leaves the GOP with just one candidate for two House seats as the party looks to hold onto its slim legislative majority. Smith urged voters to write in the name of another Republican from the district.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

ktar.com

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

52 minutes ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

KTAR.com

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

2 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

3 hours ago

State's new budget a sore spot for attorney general - Here's why...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG ‘extremely disappointed’ with state budget cuts to opioid settlement funds

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes released a statement saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the state's new budget on Saturday.

4 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Associated Press

Arizona lawmakers pass bipartisan $16.1 billion budget, fix $1.4 billion deficit

Arizona lawmakers passed a $16.1 billion bipartisan state budget, which Gov. Hobbs negotiated with GOP leaders, on Saturday evening.

8 hours ago

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close (ADOT Photo)...

Bailey Leasure

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close for 2 months

 The southbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Princess Drive and Pima Road in Scottsdale is scheduled to be closed for two months

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Arizona GOP lawmaker drops reelection campaign after forgery allegations