Congressman calls off re-election amid criminal investigation

 April 20, 2024

A Republican Arizona state representative has called off his reelection campaign.

The Washington Examiner reports that Austin Smith withdrew his candidacy on Thursday.

He has done so, according to the outlet, as he is facing claims that he forged some of the signatures on his nominating petition.

The allegation is currently being investigated by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D).

Smith's withdrawal statement

Smith posted a two-page statement, ending his reelection campaign, on his X account on Thursday. The entire statement can be read here.

In the statement, Smith made it clear that he is dropping out of the running because of the claims that he is facing. The state congressman also spoke more about the allegations in more detail.

He wrote:

Several days ago I was notified that a lawsuit had been filed, alleging fraud on my petitions for office. The odd part of the story was that the fraud was being alleged by two Democrat activists who were officers in the District 29 Democratic organization. It seemed ludicrous because Republicans trying to get on the ballot don't seek Democrat signatures and would have no reason to forge Democrat signatures, since they don't count.

Smith went on to say that he is confident that he will beat the charges, but, in order to do so, he is going to have to devote his resources to it, which is why he has decided to drop out of the race.

"The recommendation I received most was that I bow out and live to fight another day. I might be confident of victory, but all it would take is a judge believing any one person, and all would be lost," he wrote.

What now?

It appears that the state attorney general is currently investigating the matter.

The attorney general's office has put out a statement, saying, "The Attorney General’s office does not comment on the potential for any criminal investigations. I will have to decline to comment at this time."

In the meantime, Smith is facing calls for his resignation from the state legislature. It is unclear whether or not he will give in to these calls. At the time of this writing, he has not.

Smith has been representing Arizona's Legislative District 29, which includes a part of the infamous Maricopa County.

Now that Smith is no longer seeking reelection, he is urging Arizona voters who support him to select James Taylor to replace him. Taylor has previously worked for the state's energy industry.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.