While federal lawmakers debate how best to increase safety for themselves and their staff, some Arizona Republican party officials are choosing to leave office in the face of threats.
A conflict that has been going on between local Arizona Republicans came to an end in the wake of the shooting in Tucson on Saturday when Arizona's Republican District 20 Chairman Anthony Miller and several others chose to resign.
The Arizona Republic reports that Miller, 43, a former campaign worker for Sen.John McCain who was re-elected to a second one-year term last month, has been concerned for his family's safety by constant verbal attacks and blog posts from some local committee members with tea party movement ties.
Miller told the state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen via e-mail that he was quitting. "Today my wife of 20 yrs ask [sic] me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman...I will make a full statement on Monday."
Miller, the first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, said he had been called "McCain's boy," and that, during a speech, a member of the audience made the symbol of a gun with his hand and pointed it at him. "I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."
Miller is not alone. The newly-elected Dist. 20 Republican secretary, Sophia Johnson, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson, and former district spokesman Jeff Kolb, also quit.
"This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony [Miller] was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb said in an e-mail to another party activist.
"It's too bad," said Sen. John McComish. "He didn't deserve to be hounded out of office."
(Source: The Arizona Republic)