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Barton says Crandall sincere in his apology

Rep. Brenda Barton

A Republican representative says she believes a senator who accused her of harassing his teenage daughter and threatened to kill her bills is truly remorseful.

“I am satisfied to know that not only do you seem sincere in your remorse but that, as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, you will be objective when considering any future education legislation I might sponsor,” Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson wrote to Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa.

Crandall and Barton clashed earlier this month after Barton took photos of Crandall’s daughter taking down one of his opponent’s signs, then emailed the photos to the opponent, Rep. John Fillmore, who distributed them to the media.

Crandall left a message on Barton’s voicemail accusing her of cursing at his daughter and being part of a conspiracy to damage his campaign.

“I’m furious at you right now,” Crandall said in the July 12 message for Barton. “You better not try to run any education legislation whatsoever the next two years.”

That message prompted Barton to file an ethics complaint against Crandall, alleging that he violated Senate rules by behaving unprofessionally. She and Fillmore held a press conference to denounce Crandall and announce that she would file an ethics complaint.

The complaint was dismissed July 25.

On July 24, Crandall sent an apology letter to Barton in which he said he “should have counted to 10 before making the call and should have allowed you to explain what occurred.”

In the letter to Barton, Crandall said he was only trying to defend his daughter.

“Unfortunately, you were caught in the middle and I am very sorry for that,” he wrote. “Because I thought you were a part of this action, I completely forgot the decorum and respect that accompanies being an elected official in the Arizona Legislature.”

In her letter, Barton said she hopes that the “unfortunate incident” will serve as a reminder to all lawmakers “that the etiquette and decorum standards they are expected to adhere to while at the Capitol also extend to activities outside the Legislature.”

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