Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Replacing Ben Arredondo

In case you've been wondering, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has been sitting on the short list of candidates nominated by precinct committeepersons of the old Legislative District 17 for about two weeks now with no sign of taking action to make a selection.

Recall that Ben Arredondo, the longtime Republican conveniently decided to become a Democrat to facilitate election to the state House of Representatives in 2010. Last month, not long after federal prosecutors publicly announced (last Spring) they intended to indict him on corruption charges, Arredondo pleaded guilty to multiple charges and resigned from the House.

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §41-1202, Tempe Democrats met on October 18 to nominate current House candidate Juan Mendez along with LD26 chairman Randy Keating and Kristin Gwinn (who is working on Master's Degrees in Public Policy and Public Administration at Arizona State). The three names were then forwarded to the Board of Supervisors which will select one of them to finish Arredondo's term (until the 51rst Legislature is seated on January 14, 2013).

Of course, Tempe Democrats had hoped the Board of Supervisors would make the appointment right away, choosing Juan Mendez. A day or so ago, having heard no news, I began asking around. Scuttlebutt had RWNJ (and Tempe Republican activist) A J LaFaro putting pressure on the Board to delay the appointment until after the November 6 general election. I've been unable to verify that claim. The statute sets specific time frames for Precinct Committeemen to meet and nominate the three people but sets absolutely no time limits for the Board to make the selection.

Therefore, I contacted Board of Supervisors' spokesman Richard de Uriarte to get the straight scoop. He told me today that the Board does not want to be in a position to pick winners and losers for next week's election. Further, they expect to put this item on the agenda for the Board's first meeting after next Tuesday, tentatively scheduled for November 13. If Mendez wins next week, the Board expects to then name him to fill the vacated seat right away.

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