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Dem leader: If Rep. Stringer brings ‘toxicity’ to the Legislature, expulsion calls will follow

By: - December 10, 2018 3:51 pm

Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Phoenix. Screenshot via YouTube

Rep. Reginald Bolding, a Phoenix Democrat and one of two black lawmakers, said he expects Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives will push to expel Rep. David Stringer if the embattled Prescott Republican creates an “unsafe working environment” when the Legislature convenes in January.

Stringer has been called on to resign by numerous groups and prominent Republican leaders, including Gov. Doug Ducey, after he was caught on tape making racist comments for the second time this year.

Stringer, who also wrote a number of columns espousing white nationalist talking points in 2017, has refused to give up his legislative seat, to which he was re-elected overwhelmingly last month.

On Channel 12’s “Sunday Square Off” yesterday, Bolding said that, if Stringer “brings that toxicity back to the House of Representatives, we will push for an expulsion.”

Although Bolding, the incoming House Democratic co-whip, said that he doesn’t personally believe that Stringer is “qualified to be a representative in this great state” because he holds racist views that are “obviously deep-rooted in who he is,” he said Democrats for the time being are only asking for Stringer to be censured and removed from all of his committee assignments.

Incoming Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, a Mesa Republican, has removed Stringer from three committees, but has allowed him to retain his seat on the Government Committee.

Bolding also told host Brahm Resnik that he has had “several conversations” with Stringer about racial issues during the two years they’ve served together. He added that, when the Education Committee (on which both Bolding and Stringer serve) has heard testimony about students of color and student achievement, “there’s always a comment, a… theme in his questioning that gets to, he doesn’t believe people of color deserve a place in this country.”

Bolding also was critical of his Republican colleagues in the House, almost all of who have remained silent on Stringer.

“When you don’t speak up, it seems as though you are complicit in what he’s saying,” Bolding said.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.