These 4 Arizona Lawmakers Have Ties to the Oath Keepers, a Far-Right, Anti-Government Group

FILE - Members of the Oath Keepers on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, to conspiring with other members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group to forcefully halt the peaceful transfer of power after President Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory. William Todd Wilson, 44, is the third Oath Keepers member to plead guilty to a seditious conspiracy charge stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

By Robert Gundran

June 13, 2022

Several Arizona lawmakers have expressed support or admiration for the Oath Keepers during or before their time in office.

The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers—two far-right, anti-government extremist groups—were at the center of Thursday’s first public congressional committee hearing regarding the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Video footage from the Capitol showed a group of Proud Boys arriving at the building well before the rest of the pro-Trump mob arrived. 

Once people broke into the Capitol, two groups of Oath Keepers joined the mob and pushed past police barricades. 

British documentarian Nick Quested testified at the hearing that he filmed a meeting between leaders of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Jan. 5, 2021. 

RELATED: Losing Arizona: Is Your Representative an Insurrectionist?

Several Arizona lawmakers have expressed support or admiration for the Oath Keepers during or before their time in office. Stewart Rhodes, the group’s leader and founder, is set to face trial for seditious conspiracy in September.

Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Tucson/Casa Grande, assumed office in 2015. Less than one year earlier, he posted about an Oath Keepers meetup in Tucson. 

Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, known to cozy up to white nationalists who praise Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler like Nicholas Fuentes, is a self-proclaimed member of the Oath Keepers. She met with the Cottonwood chapter two months after the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Rogers was censured in March after she called white nationalists “patriots” and called for her political rivals to be hanged. 

Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, had “Oathkeeper” in her Twitter bio for months after the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

When a Twitter user pointed it out, she obfuscated by saying, “I am an oath keeper, despite the various groups out there….I will never bend from keeping my oath to the Constitution.”

Rep. Quang Nguyen, R-Prescott Valley, flatly said on Twitter, “I’m an Oath Keeper. Do not ever forget it. Now what?”

Former Arizona Capitol Times reporter Julie Shumway also reported that she saw Nguyen’s truck in the Legislature’s parking lot with two Oath Keepers stickers on it. 

Nguyen spoke at least twice at Oath Keepers meetings in Yavapai County since late 2020.

Former Rep. Anthony Kern, who is running as a Republican for an Arizona Senate seat in Phoenix and Glendale this year, doesn’t appear to have any explicit ties to the Oath Keepers, but was seen on camera at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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