Julie Willoughby, chief nursing officer at Exceptional Community Hospital-Maricopa, is among three people under consideration to replace ousted Republican Dist. 13 Rep. Liz Harris in the Arizona House of Representatives, the GOP announced Monday night.

Willoughby, an emergency-room trauma nurse at Exceptional, lost to Harris by fewer than 300 votes after a recount in the November election, and is believed to be the favorite.

Julie Willoughby

Her name along with fellow Chandler Republicans Steven Steele and Harris are being sent to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who will decide who fills the seat.

“I am honored that the precinct committeemen of LD13 have chosen me as one of three potential candidates to serve in the House of Representatives,” Willoughby said. “I ran for this seat in 2022 because I want to make a difference. My husband and I have two small children and I care about the future.

“If chosen by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, I will help ensure that Arizona continues to be a great place to live and raise a family. When I ran in 2022, our state did not have a registered nurse serving in the Legislature. Health care is extremely important for all citizens and I look forward to bringing my expertise in these issues to the state capitol.”

Harris was expelled from the House on a 46-13 bipartisan vote last week after the Ethics Committee determined she violated rules by inviting an election-conspiracy advocate to a committee meeting.

Enough Harris backers supporting her reinstatement came to the Monday meeting that the GOP included her name among the three to retain her seat. The Board of Supervisors, however, is not expected to reinstate Harris.