Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Replacing Ben Arredondo -- the short list UPDATED 2:00am MST 10-19-12

Arizona Democratic Party chairman Bill Roe presided over a very quick meeting of LD26 Democrats (meeting AS the old LD17) to nominate three people pursuant to ARS §41-1202 to replace the now former LD 17 state Rep. Ben Arredondo.

2. Those elected precinct committeemen shall nominate, within twenty-one days after notification of the vacancy by the secretary of state if the legislature is not in regular session or within five days if the legislature is in regular session and by a majority vote, three qualified electors to fill the vacancy who meet the requirements for service in the legislature and who belong to the same political party and reside at the time of nomination in the same district and county as the person elected to or appointed to the office immediately before the vacancy.
3. The meeting to fill the vacancy is subject to title 38, chapter 3, article 3.1, and the state party chairman of the appropriate political party shall oversee the nominations. Fifty per cent or more of the elected precinct committeemen of the district who are in the legislative district and from the county in which the vacancy occurred, or their proxies, meeting together constitutes a quorum for the purposes of this subsection.
Twenty-two LD17 precinct committeemen (and women) were physically present with an additional twenty proxies granted for the purpose of this meeting. Since the total number of PCs is about 60, the forty-two votes constituted a quorum.

As soon as Roe called the meeting to order and opened the floor for nominations, Juan Mendez, Randy Keating and Kristin Gwinn were quickly nominated. A motion came from the floor to close nominations. It was seconded and approved. State Sen. David Schapira then made a motion, that since there were only three people nominated, to waive speeches and voting and approve the three names by acclamation. The motion was seconded and approved. All business for the meeting was thereby finished.

Juan Mendez is currently running to represent LD26 in the Arizona House. He manages a local nonprofit and will be a hard working voice for Arizona's working class families.

Randy Keating is chairman of LD26 Democrats, and runs his own small business.

Kristin Gwinn, an experienced political campaign consultant, is also currently treasurer for LD26 Democrats.

It may be advantageous for Democrats and for Mendez in particular if the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors decides to appoint him. However, because we are now less than three weeks away from the general election, and because the Board of Supervisors has four Republicans and only one Democrat, nobody seems to think Mendez will be chosen.

The next step, is for the Arizona Democratic Party to forward these three names to the Board of Supervisors.
4. The state party chairman of the appropriate political party shall forward the names of the three persons named pursuant to paragraph 2 of this subsection to the board of supervisors of the county of residence of the person elected or appointed to the office immediately before the vacancy occurred. The board of supervisors shall appoint a person from the three nominees submitted.
The Board of Supervisors will, presumably the next time they meet, make the appointment.


Yesterday, Arizona lost a statesman. Former state Rep. Bill Konopnicki passed away after a short illness. Prior to the call to order at this evening's meeting, Rep. Ed Ableser and Sen. David Schapira shared stories recalling Konopnicki's influence during their mutual time in the Arizona House of Representatives.

I had met Konopnicki, a Republican from Safford, during my time at the Arizona Capitol Times. Like everyone else, I knew him to truly be one of the good guys. He is already sorely missed.


It occurred to me, after re-reading the language in ARS §41-1202 to look back on the time last January when a panel of LD15 activists met to nominate three people to succeed Kyrsten Sinema who had, only days before, resigned her seat in the Arizona Senate so that she could gear up to run for Congress.

Sinema, of course, has since won the CD9 Democratic primary election and hopefully will go on to represent the Phoenix district in Congress.

A couple of notable differences between that LD15 meeting and the LD17 process to replace Arredondo:

  • LD15 did not have the minimum number of elected precinct committeemen, so the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had to appoint a panel, many of whom were LD15 PCs, to conduct the nomination process. LD17, likely because it has been a competitive district throughout the last ten years, did have a large base of activists. Early in the decade, there had been Republican representation for the district at the capitol. But it was a core of passionate Democrats that took the nearly evenly balanced voter registration and got our guys elected. I am proud of Ed Ableser and David Schapira for how they have been the voice for Tempe in setting public policy for Arizona.
  • The chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party at the time, Andrei Cherny did NOT preside over the nomination meeting or process. That is consistent with his lackluster performance as ADP chair. Bill Roe is a ROCK. He is actively involved and shows up when and where it is appropriate for the ADP chair to show up. Bravo to Bill and to the ADP.
Of course, the ADP is still only a focal point for Democratic activism in Arizona. It is not a god, nor is it an institution without fault or criticism. But it is a whole lot of Democratic activists throughout the state making a difference. We are less than three weeks out from being able to see the fruit of our labor once again, from actively participating in redistricting to developing Democratic activists and candidates, to canvassing for the candidates and encouraging voters to vote early and get their ballots turned it.

And I'm proud to be part of the team.

1 comment:

  1. Mendez would, indeed, be the ideal replacement for Arredondo.