On Tuesday (Dec.4) the Prescott City Council voted to call for the resignation of Republican State Representative David Stringer.
The action comes in response to recent public statements made by the District One lawmaker that many view as racist and discriminatory.
In November, Stringer told Arizona State University students that African Americans “don’t blend in.” He also made comments about Somali immigrants, saying “they don’t look like every other kid” as previous European immigrants do.
Stringer made similar comments this past summer prompting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to call for his resignation.
On a 6-1 vote the Prescott City Council adopted a statement that said, in part, that members were “horrified that opinions expressed by Mr. Stringer exist.” It calls Mr. Stringer’s opinions misguided, outdated, inaccurate and offensive.
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli spoke with KAWC about why he felt it was important for the city to respond with a formal statement. Mengarelli says one reason is Stringer's credibility and effectiveness as a state representative.
“He has put himself in a position where people are not trusting him like they were before. He’s been removed from committees down there. I don’t believe he has the influence that he once did and so I am very concerned that we will not have the voice we would like to have in the state legislature,” Mengarelli says.
Rep. Rusty Bowers, the incoming Speaker of the Arizona House, abolished a newly formed House Committee on Sentencing and Recidivism that Stringer was part of creating. Stringer also lost his vice-chair position in the Judiciary Committee and was removed from the House Education Committee.
But Mayor Mengarelli is also worried about the impact of Stringer’s comments on the city of Prescott.
“I’m already seeing where some groups are wanting consider to possible boycotts of the city. We have businesses calling in wondering what is going on. And we’re trying to recruit tech businesses to our city and this is very concerning to some of those companies,” Mengarelli says.
Mengarelli says the council also talked about the kind of community they think Prescott is and should be.
“We talked a lot about being everybody’s hometown, how we do welcome everyone,” he says. “We want to make sure that continues.”
The council’s action comes days after the latest remarks by Stringer were published by the Phoenix New Times. Stringer was caught on tape on November 19 after a lecture by an ASU political history professor regarding the 2018 election results.
Stringer, who was re-elected last month, has yet to comment.