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Arizona Republicans Select Indicted Fake Elector to Represent Them at RNC

State Sen. Jake Hoffman was one of 18 individuals indicted for trying to subvert Arizona’s election results in 2020.

State Senator Jake Hoffman speaking with the media outside the Arizona State Capitol building on January 9, 2023, the opening day of the 56th Legislature in Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona Republicans have selected one of the 18 individuals who were indicted last week on charges of election subversion to serve as a member of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

State Sen. Jake Hoffman (R) announced his appointment to the RNC national committee on Saturday, posting to the social media site X about his selection by the state party.

“I’m humbled and honored to have been elected as the next RNC National Committeeman for Arizona,” Hoffman wrote.

He will serve a four-year term on the national committee, he added in his post.

Hoffman’s appointment demonstrates that Arizona Republicans are continuing to push conspiracy theories about election fraud, despite the fact that such claims have been thoroughly debunked.

In 2020, Hoffman served as one of the fake electors who were part of a scheme orchestrated by former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to overturn election results in several states where President Joe Biden had won by narrow margins. In addition to being a fake elector, Hoffman, before being officially sworn in as a state legislator, sent a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence, urging him to illegally disregard the legitimate slate of electors from Arizona within the Electoral College.

“It is in this late hour, with urgency, that I respectfully ask that you delay the certification of election results for Arizona during the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021, and seek clarification from the Arizona state legislature as to which slate of electors are proper and accurate,” Hoffman wrote in his letter to Pence.

Pence refused to follow through on Hoffman’s demands, as vice presidents do not have the constitutional authority to disregard state electors.

Hoffman is also infamous in Arizona for purposefully spreading lies about election fraud online — including by paying teenagers to post right-wing talking points and conspiracy theories on social media — to aid Trump’s election chances in the state.

Last week, a grand jury indicted Hoffman and 17 other individuals (including seven former aides to Trump) for their role in trying to subvert the 2020 election results. Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) announced the charging decision, noting that, had their scheme been successful, it would have “deprived Arizona’s voters of their right to have their votes counted for their chosen president.”

“The people of Arizona elected President Biden,” Mayes said in a statement announcing the charging decision. “Unwilling to accept this fact, the defendants charged by the state grand jury allegedly schemed to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency. Whatever their reasoning was, the plot to violate the law must be answered for.”

The charges against the 18 officials include forgery, fraud and conspiracy. Trump is not named as a defendant in the indictment, but is listed as “co-conspirator 1” in the documents.

Despite these charges against Hoffman, the Arizona Republican Party still voted to appoint him to the RNC national committee. In addition to Hoffman’s appointment, the state party selected former state Rep. Liz Harris (R), who was expelled from the state legislature in 2023 for knowingly inviting a witness to make false testimony regarding supposed election fraud in the state during the 2020 election.

According to an Arizona House Ethics Committee report, Harris was aware that the witness in question would make glaringly false claims (including falsely alleging that elections officials took bribes to help Democrats win) but invited her to testify anyway. After the witness was called out for her falsehoods, Harris denied any involvement in plotting to have her testify, despite evidence clearly demonstrating that she was a part of the plan.

Barrett Marson, a Republican strategist in Arizona who doesn’t promote lies about election fraud, described the appointments of both Hoffman and Harris as indicative of the direction the state Republican Party is pursuing.

“I think it shows that both election denialism and a fealty to election denialism is now the state Republican Party in Arizona,” Marson said.