Mainstream Republicans Scared to Death by Tea Party

Several mainstream Republicans have resigned from leadership roles in Arizona’s 20th Legislative District due to concerns about the safety of their families in light of threats from the Awtaukee Tea Party, and the recent massacre in Tucson.

Anthony Miller resigned as chair of the Republican party in the 20th district along with Republican party secretary Sophia Johnson, the district Republican vice-chairman Roger Dickinson, and the district Republican spokesman Jeff Kolb.

Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family’s safety.

In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday’s massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

“I wasn’t going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday,” Miller said. “I love the Republican Party but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.”

Read more in the Arizona Republic.