Maricopa County Chairman Tyler Bowyer barely survived a vote of no confidence motion at the Maricopa County Executive meeting this evening in Phoenix, AZ, as confusion and chaos forced at least one potential voter from the proceedings. The motion would have stripped Bowyer of his handling of county money and called for an audit of county funds. The resolution also expressed disapproval about Bowyers recent misleading statements on behalf of the county to the media, as well as his “self aggrandizement” by using county party funds to promote himself on facebook with paid advertising.
County leaders meet monthly to discuss policy, party strategy, and to report the work they are doing in the county. Just days prior to the meeting, Bowyer went on news shows misrepresenting the county party members position on key education votes that many school districts were holding regarding bonds and overrides. He led opposition to the funding requests he said with unanimous support from all the Republican chairmen. On Tuesday, most Arizona school districts voted for passage of these overrides The Republican Party of Maricopa County lost, and lost convincingly, in 24 of 28 races.
While Bowyer’s embarrassing interview on 12 news may have been a tipping point, his poor judgment in his first year of being chairman has been apparent for months. Within days of his election, he was giving conflicting messages to the Republican Party on social issues like marriage, stating opposite positions depending on his audience. Later he overstated funds raised, and recently has had difficulty planning basic board meetings, sometimes not finding and announcing a location for meetings until hours before.
The County party has less than $10,000 in the bank, a far cry from the six figures he promised to raise in his first year as chairman.
When it comes to raising money and winning elections, Tyler Bowyer has been a failure.
The vote of no confidence resolution was brought to the floor by Aaron Borders, the second vice chairman of the county party. Observers say that Bowyer tried to silence Borders resolution but that Borders had the backing of the board to continue his remarks and resolution, with membership voting to let Borders have the floor. While Borders read his remarks, Chairman Bowyer grew visibly angry and declared, “I’m going home!”. As Bowyer was exiting from the building, many in the crowd starting chanting for his resignation. Perhaps realizing his vote may matter, Bowyer came back into the meeting. In a close vote of 14 to 15, Bowyer narrowly survived the resolution. One LD chair, after an hour of shouting, departed the meeting despite supporting the resolution; a clear majority of the Committee has lost confidence in Bowyer’s leadership.
One observer who was there commented, “Many of us are unhappy with Mr. Bowyer’s leadership, but had objections to specific portions of the resolution. We hope Tyler will start to involve other people in his decisions. We can’t understand why he is working with democrat activist lawyers, and spending his time speaking about policy issues on TV when he should be registering voters for success in 2016.”