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LD 29

Lawyer chosen to replace Patterson

Board of Supervisors vote 3-2 for Nicholas Fontana

Tucson lawyer Nicholas Fontana was chosen Monday by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to replace former state Rep. Daniel Patterson, who resigned earlier this month.

In a 3-2 vote, the board approved Fontana over union leader Leon Sierra and aerospace engineer Albert Jordan for the South Side Legislative District 29 seat. Democrat Sharon Bronson, who nominated Fontana, and Republicans Ray Carroll and Ann Day voted in favor of the 42-year-old, while Democrats Richard Elías and Ramón Valadez voted against him.

"I listened to my constituents," said Carroll, whose District 4 partly overlaps the legislative district Fontana will represent. "I was lobbied by my district to be supportive of Fontana."

Eleven candidates applied to fill the seat. A panel of citizens from the legislative district appointed by the Board of Supervisors culled the field to Fontana, Sierra and Jordan last week.

Fontana, a former judge pro tem in Tohono O'odham tribal court, had changed his voter registration to independent from Democrat to apply for the LD 29 post.

An independent had to be chosen for the seat because Patterson left the Democratic Party earlier this month after his own caucus moved to unseat him.

Patterson resigned April 11, just hours after a House Ethics Committee unanimously voted for his expulsion for "disorderly conduct."

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