Freedom Caucus Member Enters Maricopa County Recorder Republican Primary

Arizona state Rep. Justin Heap announces his campaign for Maricopa County Recorder on Feb. 28, 2024. [Photo by Cameron Arcand | The Center Square]

Arizona state Rep. Justin Heap is entering the Republican primary for Maricopa County recorder.

Heap, a member of the state legislature’s Freedom Caucus, is considered the major primary challenger to incumbent Recorder Stephen Richer.

“Maricopa County now has a long track record of election-related issues. Maricopa County is the laughing stock of our nation and the world,” Heap said on Wednesday at his campaign announcement press conference.

Richer has been the subject of scrutiny and even lawsuits in the aftermath of the 2020 election when he first took office, as well as the 2022 election. He is also currently suing Senate candidate Kari Lake for defamation from comments related to her run for governor and voting in Maricopa County, which dealt with technical issues on Election Day.

In a statement to The Center Square, Richer said he welcomes the entry into the race.

“The more the merrier. I think that now makes 5 Republicans currently gathering signatures to qualify for the ballot,” Richer said.

“But I’m the only one who already has the signatures, has raised more money than all other candidates combined by a lot, has countywide name ID, and has shown I can win a competitive general election. There’s a reason why I’m in the office,” he continued.

Heap will need to obtain 4,225 Republican signatures by April 1 in order to qualify for the primary election ballot, according to the county.

According to the Arizona Clean Elections Commission website, the role of a county recorder is to manage voter registration and early voting operations. In addition, a recorder is also responsible for the upkeep and operation of public records.

The primary election is on July 30.