Losing Arizona: Is Rep. Walt Blackman an Insurrectionist?

Morgaine Ford-Workman/The Copper Courier

By Bree Burkitt

February 23, 2021

This is part of a series from The Copper Courier highlighting the Arizona legislators involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection or the events leading up to it. Read the rest here.

Rep. Walter Blackman was born in Portugal and raised in Germany. He served 21 years in the US Army, earning a Bronze Star for combat action, before retiring and relocating to Snowflake, Arizona, where he opened a consulting firm. He was elected in 2018 to represent District 6—which spans the northeastern portion of Maricopa County and into parts of Gila, Navajo, and Coconino counties. He is the first Black Republican elected to the Arizona Legislature. 

Contributions to the Insurrection

Blackman signed on to a letter to Congress asking them to accept 11 “alternate” electoral votes for Trump or to have all of the state’s electoral votes “nullified completely until a full forensic audit can be conducted.”

Following the 2020 election, Blackman sent an email to constituents suggesting that the Arizona Legislature might step in to change the state’s 11 Electoral College votes to then-President Donald Trump despite Joe Biden’s win. 

Denzel Boyd/The Copper Courier

“Under the U.S. Constitution, our Arizona court system has no authority to make any determinations about the manner the Presidential election shall be conducted. I will work with my legislative colleagues to ensure a fair and true outcome to this very contentious election and I stand ready to reconvene the House and Senate to do the people’s work,” Blackman wrote, repeating unsubstantiated claims about the election results.

Following the insurrection, Blackman and other legislators faced calls to ban them from the House and Senate.

In the 2021 legislative session, Black is the sponsor of a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID to be placed on the permanent absentee voting list. 

How You May Know Them

Blackman attacked the character of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, in a 2020 video posted to social media during the peak of state and nationwide demonstrations against police brutality. Blackman said Floyd was not a hero and that he had “criminal intent,” citing Floyd’s criminal history.

“I DO NOT support George Floyd and I refuse to see him as a martyr,” Blackman posted on his Twitter. “But I hope his family receives justice.”

He also told a local radio station he believed Black Lives Matter, a movement advocating for an end to police brutality against Black communities, was a terrorist organization and criticized Arizona Schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman for her support of the group, saying that it was like “a governor writing and supporting and endorsing the KKK or an extremist right group and putting it on their letterhead.”

Blackman introduced a controversial bill in January that would force county prosecutors to charge women who receive abortions and the doctor who performed the procedure with murder. 

He also introduced a bill that would repeal Arizona’s early-voting list following the 2020 general election.

He is up for re-election in 2022.

Blackman isn’t alone. See the others who played a role in the insurrection.

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