Bill Gates announced on Thursday that he would not run for reelection in the 2024 election. His role as a county official overseeing elections in Arizona in 2022 had brought him a torrent threats, which required that he be temporarily relocated to an undisclosed address.
Gates announced that he would not seek a third term as a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a Thursday statement that described his efforts in resisting “external” pressure and telling “the truth about the elections we hold in spite of false information.” This was in a county in Arizona that has long been the focus of election denial.
Arizona is the site of Republican candidates’ aggressive attempts to contest their losses with false allegations of voter fraud. In 2020, the former president Donald Trump claimed that he hadn’t lost the state’s presidential election. In 2022, Republican Kari Lake lost the gubernatorial race to . She continues to fight this loss in court.
Gates was one of five county board members targeted by Lake. She had Trump’s support and wanted to cast doubt on election results, after losing the 2022 gubernatorial contest in the state to Democrat Katie Hobbs. Lake specifically named Gates in at least one lawsuit contesting election results.
“As I close this chapter, I can rest easy knowing that I did so with dignity, compassion and integrity. Gates stated that he remained committed to making the region a great place to work, live and raise a child, regardless of his personal political preferences or outside pressure. “At Maricopa County I kept the government lean and taxes low. I supported our most vulnerable citizens, and spoke the truth about our election in spite of false information. I will continue to fight for truth and look forward to Maricopa running the election in 2024.
The Washington Post was the first to report Gates’ plans .
Gates stated that he was looking forward to the “next chapter” of his life, but he didn’t elaborate on his plans.
In an interview with NBC News before the midterm election last year, Gates said that he was working with local police as his county was facing a barrage “of vile emails and posts on social media.”
After the election of 2022, local law enforcement urged Gates to temporarily relocate his family while they investigated increasing threats.
Gates didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry about past incidents of harassment that may have influenced his decision.
Gates was among the wave of election workers who reported intensifying harassment and safety issuesfollowing 2020’s election and Trump’s attempts to overturn it. Some opted to resign.
Since the 2020 elections, a large number of election officials from battleground states such as Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania have either resigned or retired, or decided not to run for re-election.
Gates was elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for the first time in 2016. He previously served as a member of the Phoenix City Council between June 2009 and May 2016. He was Phoenix’s vice-mayor for a year in 2013.