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Supes stock Patterson-replacement panel with Dems
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Supes stock Patterson-replacement panel with Dems

  • Patterson
    Patterson

The Pima County Board of Supervisors chose a five-person panel Monday to help choose a replacement for ex-state Rep. Daniel Patterson, who resigned last week to avoid being expelled from the Legislature.

Because Patterson, who was elected as a Democrat, changed his party registration to independent before submitting his resignation, his replacement must also be a registered independent.

The panel picked by the Supes during a Monday special meeting — held to meet a three-day deadline to select the nominating committee — includes former legislators Victor Soltero, Tom Prezelski, and Lou-Ann Preble, along with private school administrator Julee Dawson and Kristin Almquist, who ran Janet Napolitano's Southern Arizona governor's office.

Preble is a Republican, and Dawson an independent. While Almquist is a registered independent, she's worked closely with the Democrats. The other two committee members are Democratic Party members.

Those wishing to seek appointment to the seat have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit an application to the board clerk's office, at 130 W. Congress.

The nominating committee will review the applications Thursday, and forward three applications to the Supervisors by 3 p.m. Friday for review over the weekend.

The Board will vote on appointing a representative to fill the seat next Monday.

In a Facebook post, Prezelski commented on the process:

Because of the "screw you" issued by the most recent incumbent on the eve of his departure, the new representative must be a registered independent.

I will not speak for the committee, but these are what I am looking for in an appointee:

  • 1. Familiarity with the district, its people, and its problems.
  • 2. Familiarity with the work of the legislature.
  • 3. Values reflective of those of the district.

It is important to note that partisanship is secondary to other factors and finding someone who is generally liberal in outlook as previous Representatives have been is actually fairly easy in this district, even among registered independents. Given that it is unlikely that this appointee will be in place in time to vote on much, it is far more important that we find someone who can handle the sort of work that is done in the interim. If a constituent calls with an issue, I want someone in place who has an idea of who to contact. Given that the new representative will have almost no time to learn these things, some familiarity with state government is essential, whether this comes from government work or community involvement.

Among those who've announced they're seeking the position are James Kelley, who switched his registration from Republican to independent last week to qualify for appointment.

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