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Posted Oct 15, 2010, 9:14 pm
State Senate Minority Leader Jorge Luis Garcia — who was campaigning for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission — died Friday.
The Tucson Democrat, 57, had been ill, according to his campaign manager, Jose Bracamonte.
Garcia was one of two Democrats running for the two Corporation Commission seats up for election. State Rep. David Bradley is the other Democratic candidate.
On his campaign website, Garcia said he would continue to "fight for the interests of workers, consumers, and the environment" and advocate for solar and renewable energy as a member of the body that regulates Arizona's utilities.
Garcia was born in Nogales, Son. When he was nine years old, his mother — who was born in Miami, Ariz. — moved the family to Nogales, Ariz. He was a graduate of Phoenix Union High School.
He had lived in Tucson since 1973. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1975 and earned a master's degree from Arizona State University six years later.
Garcia served in the state House of Representatives from 1993 to 1997. He was elected to the state Senate by District 27 in 2003. He had been the Senate minority leader for two years.
A social worker, he was director of social services for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
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He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Maria, and three grown children: daughters Yvette and Dominique and son Rolando, and four grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.
Gov. Jan Brewer ordered that flags be flown at half staff for seven days beginning Saturday to honor Garcia.
Because ballots have already been printed and early voting has begun, the state Democratic Party cannot replace Garcia with another candidate. In the event of a candidate's death after ballots have been printed, write-in candidates have until five days prior to the election to file nomination papers.
If Garcia wins a seat, the governor would have to appoint a Democratic replacement for him, who would serve two years until a special election would be held.