Katie Hobbs's Spox Resigns Over 'Vile' Tweet Promoting Violence Against 'Transphobes'

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D.) / Getty Images
March 29, 2023

The press secretary for Arizona governor Katie Hobbs (D.) resigned Wednesday after tweeting a threatening image calling out "transphobes" hours after a transgender mass shooter killed six people at a private Christian school.

The spokeswoman, Josselyn Berry, on Monday night tweeted a gif showing a woman brandishing handguns with the caption, "Us when we see transphobes." That same morning, transgender shooter Audrey Hale killed three nine-year-olds and three adults at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn.

Hobbs’s office in a Wednesday statement accepted Berry's resignation over the post, saying the governor "does not condone violence in any form."

"The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration," the governor's office said.

Berry's resignation is the latest challenge for Hobbs since she took office this year following a razor-thin victory in the November election. The governor has received fierce backlash over her plans to disband a border enforcement team specializing in drug busts at a time when record numbers of illegal immigrants and drugs are crossing the border.

Berry faced a flurry of calls for her resignation over the tweet this week from Arizona Republicans.

Former Republican governor Doug Ducey’s press secretary Daniel Scarpinato called the tweet an "outrage."

"JUST IMAGINE if this was the spokesperson for a Republican Governor," Scarpinato said.

The Arizona Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative state legislators, called the tweet "vile."

"Less than 12 hours after the tragic shooting in Nashville by a deranged transgender activist, Katie Hobbs's Press Secretary calls for shooting people Democrats disagree with," the caucus said.

The gif Berry posted in the tweet depicted actress Gena Rowlands in the movie Gloria.

In Monday's shooting, Hale, a biological female who went by "Aiden," opened fire in Nashville’s Covenant School, a small Christian school she once attended. Police said Hale left a manifesto and maps of the school indicating she planned the attack.