Arizona House fight over sex harassment case penalty looms

PHOENIX (AP) - A showdown is looming in the Arizona House over what penalty should be imposed on a Republican lawmaker found to have engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment toward women.

The House is set to meet late Thursday morning to consider Republican Speaker J.D. Mesnard's proposal for a formal censure of Rep. Don Shooter. A censure is the harshest penalty possible short of expulsion.

Republican Majority Whip Kelly Townsend is calling for Shooter's resignation and says she'll move for an expulsion vote if he doesn't step down. Meanwhile, some other Republicans believe Shooter deserves a lesser penalty or a chance to defend himself.

Expulsion requires support from 40 of 60 members, while a censure requires a simple majority. Republicans control 36 seats and Democrats 24.
 

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