Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates has been moved to an “undisclosed” location for protection amid safety fears over blowback linked to losers in the midterm elections in Arizona, a local Fox station reported Sunday.
Deputies from the county sheriff’s office have been assigned to guard him in the wake of increasingly disturbing criticism online and in person, according to Fox 10 in Phoenix.
Gates confirmed to the station that he was moved “for his own safety,” the station reported.
The Republican supervisor, the chair of the Maricopa County Elections Department, is a fierce defender of the integrity of the voting system and a harsh critic of knee-jerk complaints that the system is rigged.
There’s no evidence of any significant fraud in the elections. Losing gubernatorial Kari Lake (R), however, has refused to concede to Democratic winner Katie Hobbs, and is urging her supporters to “fight.”
Maricopa County Attorney Tom Liddy told The Washington Post that he reported what he considered to be a threat from the Lake campaign to the local sheriff.
He said an attorney from the Republican National Committee speaking on behalf of the campaign warned Liddy on the phone a week ago that there were “a lot” of Lake supporters who were really “irate” and the campaign was unable to “control” them. Lake was about to be projected as the loser in her race.
Both the RNC attorney and Lake campaign have denied any threat against Liddy.
CORRECTION: A prior version of this story incorrectly identified a local Fox affiliate as Fox News.