GOP Lawmaker Wants to Guarantee Expulsions Stick

Future lawmakers who are expelled or resigned may not run for office again under new drafted bill.

A Republican legislator is drafting a bill to ensure that state lawmakers who are expelled or quit remain out of office. But, it’s not clear if it’s possible to stop former Representatives Todd Courser or Cindy Gamrat from running for and winning their old jobs.

Courser and Gamrat both filed to run last week for the vacancies created after she was expelled by a two-thirds majority vote, and he resigned as he was about to be removed.

State Representative Lisa Lyons says that should stick at least through the balance of the legislative term.

“We need to make sure that anybody who has left office via expulsion or resignation should not be able to come back and fill the vacancy in which their leaving created.    Period,” she said. “The fact of the matter is this is not good for taxpayers, and it’s just not good for the system or our citizens.”

Courser and Gamrat say their districts’ voters should have the chance to weigh in on the Legislature’s actions and the case made against them.

Lyons and other GOP lawmakers say they could vote to refuse to seat Courser or Gamrat, but that is uncharted territory for the Legislature.