I just caught wind of the "latest update" regarding the vacant seat in the Arizona House of Representatives for the old Legislative District 17, in the wake of the Ben Arredondo's October resignation.
The Arizona Capitol Times reported today:
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has decided not to appoint a temporary replacement for former Rep. Ben Arredondo, who resigned on Oct. 9 after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges.
The board, which comprises four Republicans and a Democrat, was prepared to select Rep.-elect Juan Mendez to finish the last few weeks of Arredondo’s term in Legislative District 17. But the item was pulled from the board’s Nov. 26 scheduled meeting after Mendez, a Tempe Democrat, had second thoughts, realizing the short-term appointment would be considered a full term under Arizona’s term-limit laws.
Board spokesman Richard de Uriarte said although there were two other nominees for the appointment, the board’s consensus was to pick Mendez, since he won election Nov. 6 to the House in the new Legislative District 26, which includes large parts of LD17.
De Uriarte said the Legislature will save money without the short-term appointee and there is no urgency to choose Arredondo’s replacement since there is no special session.
“You have to wonder what’s the point,” de Uriarte said.
Arizona statutes say the Board of Supervisors “shall” pick a replacement from three nominees, but de Uriarte said there is no time limit.However, de Uriarte told me this evening that when he spoke with the Capitol Times (last Wednesday), the Board was still undecided even though the item had been pulled from the agenda for the Monday (earlier today) meeting. The Board spokesman says that status remains unchanged this evening.
He did tell me that the Board has "no enthusiasm" for making the appointment, but the door remains open at this time.
State Sen.-elect Ed Ableser (D-LD26), who currently holds the other LD17 seat in the Arizona House has said he would like to see someone appointed to assist with constituent services in the interim.