Morgaine Ford-Workman/The Copper Courier Sen. Warren Petersen
Morgaine Ford-Workman/The Copper Courier

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.

Sen. Warren Petersen graduated from Gilbert High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. He owns a real estate brokerage firm. Petersen was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2013 before he was elected to the Senate in 2017 to represent District 12, which covers Gilbert and San Tan Valley.

Contributions to the Insurrection

Petersen, alongside numerous other state Republicans, signed on to a letter to Congress asking lawmakers 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.”

Petersen is a driving force behind the Republican-backed push to audit the ballots from the 2020 election. He signed off on subpoenas ordering the ballots to be delivered for inspection. It’s still not clear who exactly will audit the results on behalf of the Senate and when it will occur. 

This will be the third audit of Arizona’s 2020 election results. The two previous audits yielded no proof of fraud in the election or misconduct by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, yet Petersen called the separate audits “insufficient.” “When it comes to obstruction, lies, and deception, the Maricopa County board gets an A-plus,” Petersen said about the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who supervised the two previous audits.

The board did not conduct the audits themselves but hired an independent third-party firm to conduct them. 

How You May Have Heard of Them

Petersen pushed a bill to support the online “We Build the Wall” campaign that raised more than $25 million to construct the border wall.

Level of Involvement: The Copper Courier identified Warren Petersen as one of a number of lawmakers that helped shape the culture and heightened tensions that led to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Denzel Boyd/The Copper Courier

Petersen’s bill would have allowed construction to start on private property along the Arizona-Mexico border without a permit. The bill was criticized by Democrats and environmental activists for having serious environmental ramifications, such as keeping native animals from naturally moving across the land.

He is up for re-election in 2022.

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