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Dem lawmaker Aaron Lieberman resigns to run for Arizona governor

State Rep. Aaron Lieberman resigned his seat to focus on his campaign for governor.

Lieberman, a Democrat from Paradise Valley, is seeking the Democratic nomination in next year’s gubernatorial race. He faces Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Arizona Department of Commerce Director Marco Lopez.

Lieberman said he was “all in” on running for governor, and that means he can’t do his job as a legislator.

“The simple truth is that running for Governor and serving in the legislature are two incredibly important jobs that demand near full-time service,” Lieberman said in a press statement on Monday. “My full focus will now be on this race for Governor to ensure I will have all the resources needed to compete and win.”

Lieberman was first elected in 2018 in District 28, which covers the Arcadia and Biltmore areas of Phoenix, north-central Phoenix and Paradise Valley. Traditionally, Democrats would run only one candidate for the House in the centrist but predominantly Republican district, a strategy known in legislative campaigns as a single-shot. Lieberman took the second seat for the Democrats, who now control both of the district’s House seats and its Senate seat.

It’s difficult to say what effect Lieberman’s resignation could have politically. Democrats have taken control of the affluent district, in part with Lieberman’s help. But the districts will be redrawn before next year’s election, and there’s no way to predict exactly what the new district will look like. 

The district’s Democratic precinct committeemen, who are the elected, voting members of the party’s district-level organization, will select three candidates to replace Lieberman. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will appoint a new representative from that list. 

Lieberman’s resignation leaves yet another vacancy in the legislature, which is already down a member and preparing for the planned resignation of another lawmaker at the end of the month.

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The District 10 Senate seat is currently vacant after Sen. Kirsten Engel, D-Tucson, resigned to focus on her congressional campaign. And Rep. Bret Roberts, R-Maricopa, plans to resign on Sept. 30. He told inMaricopa.com that he and his family are moving out of state, though he didn’t say where or why. 

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors last week appointed Raquel Terán, a two-term House representative and the chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Party, to the west-Phoenix based District 30 Senate seat. The seat had been vacant since former Sen. Tony Navarrete resigned the seat amid criminal charges for alleged child sex crimes. The House seat that Terán vacated must also be filled.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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Former state Rep. Aaron Lieberman, D-Paradise Valley.