Last Updated on August 6, 2021
Arizona Democrats have called upon State Senator Tony Navarrete, who they previously described as a “rising star” in the party, to resign after he was arrested on allegations of child molestation.
Navarrete was arrested by police on Thursday, and charged with “multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, among other charges.” According to the Phoenix Police Department, one juvenile and other witnesses had been interviewed before his arrest. Later media reports confirmed that he was accused of having sexual contact with two teenage boys.
As National File reported, the State Senator was widely believed to be an up and coming member of the Arizona Democrats. Navarrete, an open homosexual man, founded the Arizona LGBT Caucus, and made appearances with multiple high-profile Democrats, including Kamala Harris and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He was further tipped to run for Treasurer of Arizona before his arrest.
In a joint statement, the Arizona House and Senate Democrats called on Navarrete to resign following his arrest. “The circumstances and serious nature of the felony charges faced by Senator Navarrete provide an untenable distraction from his role as an elected officials and public servant for District 30,” the statement read. “Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts to go out to the victims. He should do the right thing for all involved and immediately resign from the Legislature.” The statement concluded with a link to a helpline for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence in Arizona.
In light of these disturbing charges, House and Senate Democrats are calling on Senator Navarrete to resign immediately. Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts go out to the victims. pic.twitter.com/odBj96iyTt
— Arizona Senate Democrats (@AZSenateDems) August 6, 2021
Other Arizona Democrats came out with their own individual statements on Navarrete on Twitter. State Senator Sean Bowie said the charges brought against him were “alarming and deeply disturbing,” and that “while the legal process will continue, that doesn’t mean he should continue to serve and represent District 30.” Fellow State Senator Kirsten Engel said that abuse of children is “intolerable,” and that her heart goes out to the victims of his alleged crimes, replicating much of the original statement.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey also called for Navarrete to resign “immediately.” He said the allegations against him were “abhorrent,” and that his prayers were with “the young victims and their loved ones during this traumatic time.” Sen. Wendy Rogers, who previously expressed outrage over the revelation, joined Ducey’s call in a rare moment of solidarity for the anti-Trump governor and the pro-election integrity Arizona Senator.
Sen. Navarrete should resign immediately. These allegations are abhorrent. My prayers are with the young victims and their loved ones during this traumatic time. https://t.co/cX0k2OTdsu
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) August 7, 2021
I concur with Governor @dougducey. Resign ASAP. We must protect our children from evil like this. https://t.co/Gmv33q8357
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) August 7, 2021
The move against Navarrete follows an earlier statement where the Arizona Democrats seemed to initially dodge the controversy, only confirming that he had been arrested. Following his arrest, National File detailed that he was “deeply involved” in the educational sector, and had even “worked closely” with the Arizona Department of Child Safety. Multiple photos from his Facebook page picture him with school children of all ages, including one photo with a number of young cheerleaders.