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PHOENIX -- The chairman of the Republican Party in Maricopa County says he won't resign for comparing Gov. Jan Brewer to Judas because she wants to expand the state's Medicaid plan.

A.J. LaFaro said in an email to the Associated Press Thursday that he didn't intend to offend anyone at a House hearing on the expansion plan Wednesday evening. He says his remark reflected his passion on the subject.

House speaker Andy Tobin says LaFaro stepped over the line from impassioned debate and should apologize and step down. Tobin and Brewer are both Republicans.

Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson says the governor's been around long enough to know people will sometimes call her names and act irrationally.

LaFaro ended his testimony against the expansion by saying ``Jesus had Judas, Republicans have Governor Brewer.''

Associated Press,

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