The Pima County Board of Supervisors selected political newcomer attorney Nick Fontana this morning to fill the vacant LD 29 House seat. Last Thursday a 5 member citizens committee (appointed on 4/16/12 and comprised of 2 Democrats, one Republican, and 2 Independents) selected 3 names for appointment by the Board. Click here for my report of that selection meeting.
The citizens committee reviewed cover letters and resumes, and a report from the Pima County Recorder’s Office before making their 3 selections of the 11 applicants (one withdrew prior to any review). The replacement had to be an Independent (No party preference) living in LD 29. The 3 nominees were Nicholas Fontana, Albert Jordan and Leon Sierra.
Fontana is a local Tucsonan, born & raised here, graduate of Cholla HS, University of AZ General Studies and UA Law School, and is a sitting Judge Pro Tem at the Tohono O’odham Tribal Court. He does mostly criminal defense work and can be reached at email@example.com. He is a life long Democrat (since March 1984) and only became an Independent on April 14, 2012.
District 2 Supervisor/Chair Ramon Valadez made the first motion to appoint Leon Sierra, 2nd by Richard Elias, but the vote failed 2-3. Then Supervisor Sharon Bronson made a motion to appoint Nick Fontana, 2nd by Ann Day, motion passed 3-2, with Elias & Valadez against.
Fontana will be sworn in shortly and will serve the remainder of former Rep. Daniel Patterson’s term through the end of December, 2012. Patterson resigned on April 11, 2012 facing expulsion by the full AZ House of Representatives, following recommendation of expulsion by the House Ethics Committee. Patterson had been facing allegations of disorderly conduct and domestic violence against both his former campaign manager/girlfriend, and ex-wife.
For Fontana’s resume/cover letter go to www.pima.gov. Neither Fontana nor Jordan were present today at the Board’s vote, but Sierra was in attendance.
Fontana will be the sole Independent in the AZ State House of Representatives.