Wendy Rogers—a far-right Arizona state senator who rose to prominence denying the 2020 election results—announced on Twitter Friday that she has been appointed chair of the Arizona Senate’s election committee.
Her appointment for the upcoming legislative session was confirmed Tuesday by Arizona Senate President-elect Warren Peterson, according to a local NBC News affiliate. Petersen supported the Republican-sponsored and Trumpist-led “audit” of Maricopa County’s ballots from 2020—an effort to invalidate the state’s election results for President Joe Biden.
Rogers, a 68-year-old grandmother and Air Force veteran, came to national prominence as a first term state senator alleging electoral fraud in the 2020 election with almost unmatched zeal. Taking her false allegations of fraud to election-conspiracy rally stages across the country, she called for decertifying the 2020 election in Arizona and jailing Arizona election officials. Her baseless accusations got her the attention of former President Donald Trump, who helped push her to MAGA fame.
In April, when Arizona’s Republican attorney general issued a report that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in Maricopa County, Arizona, during the 2020 election, Rogers continued to call for the arrest of election officials. In a tweet, she said: “I don’t like letters. I like arrests and prosecutions. Criminals don’t respect legal gobbly-gook that just fills pages when really we can use handcuffs, jail cells and jump suits.”
Beyond her election denialism, Rogers has repeatedly expressed adoration for white nationalists of the America First movement, most notably Nick Fuentes, who has compared himself to Hitler. Rogers addressed the white nationalist America First Political Action Conference in February, where she called for more gallows to be built from which to hang their political enemies. “You and your fellow patriots are the future,” she told the white nationalist attendees.
Rogers has also made antisemitic posts on social media and notably said that she was “honored” to have the endorsement of Andrew Torba, the antisemitic Christian nationalist founder of Gab.
While associating with white nationalists and antisemites might make some people persona non grata, that was not the case with the Arizona Republican Party. Ahead of Election Day, Rogers campaigned with GOP candidates Kari Lake, Abe Hamadeh, Blake Masters, and Mark Finchem. “I’ve been of course in the front row of all the recent Kari Lake events,” she said in an interview Wednesday. Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing youth organization Turing Point USA, had Rogers on as a guest on his show multiple times. She posed for photos with both Kirk and onetime Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, as well as Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona.
On Monday, she joined QAnon conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel’s show.
Claiming that she had been in touch with Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, who has refused to concede since her loss earlier this week, Rogers suggested that voter fraud kept Lake from winning. “Even though it looks like willful incompetence, I think it’s been an orchestrated effort to diminish her in every way,” she said.
Asked whether she had any evidence of fraud in the 2022 election, Rogers suggested Republican voters were targeted:
We have a lot of anecdotal input, a lot of anomalies that people are reporting where they showed up to vote, they were turned away, and in some cases went to three locations to try to vote, and they were turned away. So, this is very, very troubling, so I’ve heard that lawsuits will come out of this. The fact that they ran out of paper, toner, that kind of thing, I think they knew that a lot of Republicans would vote on Election Day. I think they knew were Republicans would go, and these were the locations that were problematic.
Rogers spoke to the QAnon conspiracy theorist again Wednesday, after giving her a tour of the state capitol. She reiterated her close relationship with Lake and said that Lake would fight her loss. “I just talked to Kari at length a few minutes ago. We agree we have to fight irrespective of what we think is fair or not fair. We have to fight very hard because we have to serve good and our country and ultimately truth and justice. We have no other choice but to fight, fight, fight,” she said. On Thursday, Lake said she would not concede and that she had begun assembling a team of lawyers.
Earlier in her conversation with Vandersteel, Rogers discussed the protesters who came to the Arizona state capitol and tried to enter the Senate chambers after Roe v Wade was overturned. That protest ended in the police launching tear gas at some 7,000 protesters. Rogers referred to it as what a real “insurrection” looks like and suggested lawmakers like herself would have shot them had they come in.
“Oh, by the way, Arizona senators and Arizona reps can carry, so if they had come in, it would not have been pretty.” Rogers smiled at the camera. “Yeah, you come against Arizona, were gonna fight back.”