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Pima Dems nominate 3 for empty House seat

Pima County Democrats nominated three candidates to fill an empty seat in the state House of Representatives at a meeting Saturday morning. The Board of Supervisors will pick from among Anabelle Nuñez, Demion Clinco and Miguel Cuevas in a vote scheduled for Tuesday.

The selected candidate will be appointed to fill a seat left vacant when former. Rep. Andrea Dalessandro stepped down last week. The Sahaurita Democrat was appointed to a state Senate seat to take the place of Linda Lopez, who resigned earlier this month, at the start of the legislative session.

Precinct committee members from Legislative District 2 who live in Pima County meet in Green Valley to cast ballots in the nomination process. Thirty-seven of 44 eligible PCs cast ballots either in person or by proxy. Candidates needed 50 percent plus of the vote to have their names forwarded to the supervisors, and three candidates were required to be picked under state law.

The tally, over two rounds of voting:

Round one

  • Demion Clinco, president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation: 24 votes
  • Anabelle Nuñez, associate librarian with the Arizona Health Sciences Library: 22 votes
  • Miguel Cuevas, former member of the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board: 14 votes
  • Paul Stapleton-Smith, film and television producer: 10 votes

Round two

  • Cuevas: 19 votes
  • Stapleton-Smith: 18 votes

Lopez said she left the Legislature to focus on a new job at the Easter Seals Blake Foundation.

Insiders say the edge likely belongs to Nuñez, who had also tossed her hat into the ring seeking the Senate appointment.

Three weeks ago, Dalessandro indicated that she would back Nuñez to replace her in the House if Dalessandro were to be appointed to the Senate.

"It's a woman's seat," Dalessandro said of the LD2 House vacancy. "A woman should be appointed."

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LD2 stretches from South Tucson through Sahaurita and Green Valley, and also covers Santa Cruz County.

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