Ousted GOP lawmaker Liz Harris joined by ex-Colorado election official Tina Peters

Harris and Peters, who both deny the 2020 election, have long been allies

Photos by Gage Skidmore (modified)/Flickr/ via CC BY-SA 2.0 | Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline

Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who’s currently appealing her four-month sentence of home detention (along with 120 hours of community service and a $750 fine) for attempting to obstruct authorities from taking an iPad on which she allegedly recorded video of a court hearing, is not the only former elected official to face steep consequences for embracing election conspiracies. Earlier this month, she was joined in this ignominy by Liz Harris, who was ousted from her seat in Arizona’s state legislature following complaints of disorderly conduct.

Screenshot via Colorado Times Recorder

Yesterday, Peters joined Harris in Chandler, Arizona, which Harris represented during her four months in office, for a “Hear The Truth” event to promote Harris’ reinstatement at the legislature. At the event, supporters of the embattled activists reportedly enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while Harris told her side of the story and answered questions.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which will choose Harris’ replacement, appears unlikely to reinstate her, according to local news reports.

Originally a real estate agent, Harris entered the political limelight with a door-to-door canvassing effort, searching Arizona for “anomalies” in voting records from the 2020 election. She would later release her findings in a report, but it came under scrutiny for easily verifiable falsehoods. In one instance, the report claimed votes were cast from an empty lot; Arizona Mirror reporters investigated the address for the supposed empty lot, and instead found a house that was clearly visible from the street.

Last November, voters elected Harris to represent Arizona’s 13th House District after she edged past one of her opponents by two tenths of a point. But Harris’ unwavering election denialism quickly created friction with fellow house Republicans when she announced she would refuse to vote on any house bills until the state of Arizona conducted a complete do-over of the 2022 election. In doing so, she threatened to cost the Arizona GOP their one-vote majority in the state legislature.

The final straw came in February, when Harris invited realtor Jacqueline Breger to testify on election integrity before the AZ House Elections committee. During her testimony, Breger baselessly accused a bipartisan array of Arizona officials, including sitting legislators, of being involved in a money laundering scheme orchestrated by the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Despite the lack of evidence for Breger’s claims, they spread like wildfire on fringe conservative media. At one point, Anna Ferguson, an election fraud conspiracy activist who has since been elected Secretary of the Colorado GOP, retweeted video of Breger’s testimony on her Twitter account.

Harris claims that she was not aware of Breger’s intent to make criminal allegations during her testimony, even though texts obtained by the House Ethics Committee indicated otherwise. While Harris even says she told Breger not to impugn her colleagues, she does not seem to think Breger was wrong – at least, that was what she indicated in an interview on the fringe podcast “Blood Money.”

“I think this was, to some degree, a setup. But here’s the big issue and here’s what the people across the country want,” Harris said. “If she made those allegations, why are we not, why is Arizona not doing an investigation into them? Because if she made those allegations and they prove false, they can sue. I mean, she’s responsible for what she says. Liz Harris is not responsible for what a person comes to the microphone and says.” (15:39 – 16:13)

The event on Sunday was not the first time Tina Peters and Liz Harris met face to face. In October, Harris posted a photo of herself posing with Peters alongside Arizona conspiracy activist Gail Golec, both of whom she called “amazing women fighting for this country.”

Left to right: Liz Harris, Tina Peters, and Gail Golec | Screenshot via Colorado Times Recorder

Following Harris’ expulsion earlier this month, Golec made a Telegram post comparing her ouster to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Screenshot via Colorado Times Recorder

Beyond facing consequences for spreading election conspiracies, Harris and Peters have a few things in common. Both have ties to national election denier Mike Lindell – Harris represented Arizona at Lindell’s 2022 Moment of Truth Summit, where she spoke on the findings of her debunked canvass during the “State of the States Address.”

Peters and Harris have also both claimed that fighting for election integrity has put them and their associates in mortal peril. Peters claimed without evidence in a February podcast interview that Mesa law enforcement used hit-and-runs to murder family members of her former staff, in order to intimidate those staff members into testifying against her. However, neither of the deaths Peters mentioned actually resulted from hit-and-runs.

Similarly, Harris claimed during the Moment of Truth Summit that multiple of her colleagues in the canvassing effort died under suspicious circumstances. Though she admitted that one died due to complications from COVID-19, she claimed that one was killed during a hit-and-run in Florida.

“So, Aaron, it may have been COVID, but the person who developed our app for the canvassing was mysteriously killed in Florida in a hit-and-run. And they never found the person that killed him,” Harris said. “And the person that uploaded the data into the app on the first day of our official canvassing that the Senate told us to cancel—but we went and did it anyway—his plane went down that morning. Now he survived with fifth degree burns. He’s still working with us, but that was suspicious.”

A 2018 report by ABC News found that the vast majority of hit-and-runs in Florida are never solved, making it difficult to confirm or deny the claim Harris’ unnamed colleague was killed by the powers that be.

In the wake of her expulsion, Harris has made the rounds on fringe media as being unfairly persecuted for standing up for election integrity. But in an interview on Colorado conspiracist Joe Oltmann’s podcast “Conservative Daily,” she said she was glad to be out of the Arizona statehouse, as it left her with more free time to investigate election conspiracies – especially those linked to Breger’s allegations.

Screenshot via Colorado Times Recorder

“But one thing that I’ve done is I did look at some of these phony medical claims and I’m like, oh, my goodness, the names on these phony medical means, they fall into the phantom voter category,” Harris told Oltmann. “So now I’m free to do that research, and I’m very excited to do that research because now I have a proprietary database that goes back to 2004 so I can find how a lot of these fraudulent documents tie into the phantom voters. Do you see how excited I am? It’s like I’ve a new job. I have no income now. The housing market has slowed down here, so I can’t even do my realtor duties necessarily. But I’m like, there’s like, God put me in this role. What happened today happened for a reason.” (19:41 – 20:37)

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James O'Rourke/Colorado Times Recorder
James O'Rourke/Colorado Times Recorder

James O'Rourke is an investigative reporter at the Colorado Times Recorder. In 2021, they graduated from University of Colorado Boulder, where he studied writing, rhetoric, and LGBTQ issues.