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ARIZONA BLACK REPUBLICAN STEPS DOWN

 

1.13.11 ---  In the wake of Saturday’s shooting in Arizona, it’s clear that a mess is still brewing. 

 

Today it was announced that a prominent black Republican resigned as a result of threats from Tea Party members had him fearing for his life.

 

Anthony Miller, the chairman of Arizona Legislative District 20 and the only black Republican to hold a chairmanship in the state, was reelected to a second one-year term last month.

 

He said he was stepping down due to constant verbal threats against him and his family from people with Tea Party ties, The Arizona Republic reported.

 

"I wasn't going to resign, but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller told paper. "I love the Republican Party, but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

 

In an email sent just a few hours after the massacre, Miller told Arizona's GOP Chairman Randy Pullen he felt threatened by the turmoil stirred up by a nasty battle between factions within his district's GOP.

 

"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 wrote, according to the Republic. 

 

The 43-year-old served on the campaign staff of Sen. John McCain and said he came under fire from Tea Partiers who supported McCain's GOP opponent, J.D. Hayworth.

 

Some of the attacks were reportedly racially charged.

 

Miller told the Republic that he had been called "McCain's boy," and that during a campaign event he saw a man form his hand into a gun and point it at him. 

 

At another event in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Miller told The Huffington Post that someone called out, "There's Anthony, get a rope."

 

Miller wasn't the only politician to step down in the wake of the attacks, which killed six, including a federal judge, and wounded 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

 

Newly elected district Secretary Sophia Johnson, First Vice Chairman Roger Dickinson, and former district spokesman Jeff Kolb also said they are leaving their posts, according to the Republic.

 

Kolb said in an e-mail that the "singular focus on 'getting' Anthony [Miller]" was one of the main reasons he resigned, the Republic reported. He told The Huffington Post that his decision was not out of fear, though, but because of the "tenor within the organization."

 

He officially resigned Monday.

 

Dickinson told The Huffington Post that he did not resign. He moved to a different precinct last year, which made him ineligible for his post, according to the Republic.

 

Dickinson told The Huffington Post that Johnson did resign, but not because of Saturday's events.

The shooting in Tucson has lawmakers across the country on edge and prompted some to call for stepped-up security. 

 

A California man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to kill Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) in a series of phone calls last year.

 

On Sunday, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) said he received a threatening email that said, "Danny Davis is next," in an apparent reference to the Giffords shooting.

 

Also on Sunday, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) said they planned to carry weapons to protect themselves.



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