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Sahuarita Town Council taps Gillespie & Priolo to fill vacant seats

The Sahuarita Town Council appointed two members to its ranks during its Monday meeting. They fill vacancies left by a pair of retirements earlier this year.

Steven Gillespie and Diane Priolo took their oath of office following separate votes to appoint them to vacancies left by Gil Lusk and Melissa Hicks. Both resigned from their seats earlier this year.

Gillespie will fill Lusk's seat through 2024 after a competitive process that saw the council cut six applicants down to three before making their final selection.

“I’m excited to be able to serve the residents of Sahuarita,” Gillespie said. “I’m looking forward to this opportunity to help the community grow.” Gillespie and his family have called Sahuarita home for nine years, and he works as a podiatrist in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area.

State law required the seat vacated by Lusk be filled by appointment because he resigned with less than two years left in his term. 

Hicks' term was set to expire after the November election. Priolo is the only candidate on the ballot to replace her.

She will serve through the election as an appointee, and is likely to hold the seat through 2024 after town voters cast their ballots for a two-year term. Candidates who get a majority of the vote in the primary are immediately elected, rather than having to face the polls again in November.

Mayor Tom Murphy said that the decision just made sense to appoint her ahead of an inevitable win.

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“This way we can start the next session with a full council once again,” Murphy said. “Without any challenger, she technically only needs a single vote to win the election. I’m excited to have all our seats filled once again, and I welcome both our new members. Serving on the council is all about the teamwork that results from all of us considering each other’s different perspectives.”

Priolo said has lived in Sahuarita for two-and-a-half years. She serves on the Republican Party's committee for her precinct and on her legislative district's executive committee.

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Sahuarita Sun

The Sahuarita Town Council is again at full strength as two replacement council members have been appointed by their new colleagues.