Many Republican officials in Mohave County and Arizona were discouraged by the scenes of protesters storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on Wednesday even as some remain frustrated at what they say has been a lack of transparency surrounding the 2020 presidential election nationally.
“The disgusting acts of violence currently occurring inside the US Capitol is mortifying for all Americans,” District 5 State Sen. Sonny Borrelli said Wednesday afternoon. “It does not reflect the values, courage and determination of the United States to protect this Republic that generations of Americans have fought and sacrificed for. The rule of law must be respected and followed.”
Gov. Doug Ducey also denounced the interference at the Capitol.
“In America, we practice peaceful transitions of power,” Ducey Tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “We respect law and law enforcement. The scene at the United States Capitol right now is wrong and has no place in our form of government. All should denounce, and it should end now.”
District 4 U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, who made national headlines shortly before protesters entered the Capitol building when his objection to certifying Arizona’s election results was joined by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and forced a debate on certification in both the House and Senate, also called for the protesters to remain lawful.
“OK. I said let’s do an audit,” Gosar Tweeted Wednesday afternoon while the House was still in recess due to the protests. “Let’s not get carried away here. I don’t want anyone hurt. We are protesting the violation of our laws. We are builders not destroyers. BLM burns and loots. We build. If anyone on the ground reads this and is beyond the line come back.”
Gosar also questioned on Twitter whether the protesters were actually Trump supporters, Tweeting “This has all the hallmarks of Antifa provocation.”
Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Ron Gould said it is a shame that protests would disrupt the business of Congress, but said he is waiting for more information about what transpired before casting judgment.
“In these kinds of situations I like to wait and see what really happened,” Gould said. “We really don’t have the slightest idea what really happened, but they will get to the bottom of it. They will arrest the people that breached the security line, they will find out who they really are and what was going on. I don’t want to race to judgment.”
Gould did say he supports the objection to certifying Arizona’s election results.
“I think Arizona had some problems and those really haven’t been addressed and the courts have not given the people filing complaints a fair shake at pursuing their issue,” he said. “I liked the idea that Ted Cruz put forward to appoint a commission to take a look at it before the inauguration. I’m telling you, a lot of people have lost faith in the election process.”
District 2 Supervisor Hildy Angius said Wednesday she didn’t know quite what to make of everything yet.
“I’m watching it just like everybody else,” she said. “I really haven’t formed my opinions yet. I don’t condone violence, but most of it looks like a peaceful protest to me — like we heard about all summer.”
District 5 State Rep. Regina Cobb said she hadn’t seen all of the coverage throughout the day due to a heavy schedule of Zoom meetings on Wednesday.
“What I did see, it wasn’t a pretty picture,” she said. “I think what has happened there is very sad. We always talk about peaceful protests and we hope we end up with a peaceful protest. Protesting is something that is going to be innate with us for a long time. It is going to be around, so I hope this isn’t an indication of what is to come.”
Cobb said she too has concerns about election results in Arizona, but she has confidence in Mohave County’s election. She said following the election many residents reached out to ask if their vote was counted. Cobb said she followed up on each of those questions with the county elections department.
“Everyone of them had their vote counted,” she said.
Still, Cobb said she has questions about the results throughout the state, particularly in Maricopa County.
“I felt very strong that we did a good job here. Maricopa County, with what we looked at I think 2% was too small of a sampling,” She said. “I think that needs to be widened. We need to do 5% sampling, or 8% sampling. Are the Dominion Voting Machines completely infallible or did they have problems with them? Probably, I don’t know. But we have a subpoena out there that we have not been able to do anything with because of the legal cases that are still pending. I would have liked to have seen those looked at immediately.
“The circumstances that we have been dealt with, at this point, makes it really difficult. I would have liked to have seen those machines looked at before the certification went into place. That wasn’t possible.”
But at this point, Cobb says she doesn’t think there is much that can be done legally.
“We have in our State Constitution how our electors go through, and there is no wiggle room for error on that,” Cobb said. “That is the difficulty. Do we really go with the rule of law or do we make our own rules of law? That is the difficulty I had with that part of it.”
District 5 State Rep. Leo Biasiucci did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday, but did weigh in on Twitter by responding to a Tweet from Donald Trump Jr. urging protesters to be peaceful.
“Correct, this is not who we are and it needs to stop!” Biasiucci tweeted. “But I am curious where all the Democrats were when our cities were being destroyed the last few months? You are all so vocal on Twitter now but yet not a word from you 6 months ago.”
Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, of Lake Havasu City, retweeted a post from President Donald Trump calling for calm and a nonviolent protest while responding: “Funny to hear Democrats saying that people are ‘desecrating’ the Capitol. What did they say when BLM & Anifa vandalized, looted, terrorized and burned? Seems like similar behavior called very different things.”
Ward also spoke at a Pro-Trump rally at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday where she brought up the situation in Washington D.C.
“We saw this violence in Washington and that is a shame,” Ward said. “But you know what could have prevented that? Having a transparent election. Having the ability to audit the votes, to look at the paper ballots that exist in every county, but most especially in Maricopa County.”
Video surfaced on Twitter showing several of the people in the crowd were heckling and shouting at Ward during her speech at the rally Wednesday.
Mohave County Republican Party Chairman Sam Scarmardo said he supports the protesters in Washington D.C. and accused Democrats and the media of employing a double standard.
“We haven’t done anything when they are burning Portland, Seattle, and Oakland and everything else. All of the sudden we are the bad guys because we protest a little bit?” Scarmardo asked. “We encourage people not to be violent. We always encourage people not to be violent and we encourage people to follow the laws of the country. Of course nobody made the liberals, left learners, and destructive anarchists do that for the last year.”
Scarmardo also backed Gosar’s objection to certifying Arizona’s election results, and Ward’s efforts to challenge them in court.
“It was stolen from us,” Scarmardo said. “The election was stolen from us nationwide and, personally, I’m never going to be satisfied with it. I think Kelli Ward is doing a good job of trying to fight the fight, but unfortunately this time the liberals have taken over the media and the liberals have taken over everything else. You have communism running rampant in this country. What are you going to do? I think this country is going to fall apart in fairly short order.”