There are 21,161 registered Independents living in LD 29 in Tucson. With the April 11, 2012 resignation of 2-term House Rep. Daniel Patterson,who was facing expulsion from the Full AZ House of Representatives, an Independent replacement is being immediately sought to fill this LD 29 House term until December 2012.
Patterson had been elected as a Democrat to LD 29 twice in 2008 and 2010 and earlier this year changed his voter registration to Independent on April 2, 2012. Upon his resignation that AZ Secretary of State informed the Chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors Ramon Valadez that a replacement should be an Independent (No Party Preference) in LD 29, since Patterson was an Independent when he formally resigned.
Today the Pima County Board of Supervisors appointed a 5 member citizen’s committee to review applications and submit 3 names to them within a week. The deadline for applicants is 3 p.m. Wednesday April 18, to Pima County Clerk Robin Brigode.
The Supervisors, after some discussion this morning about publicity and transparency, appointed to the citizen’s committee:
–former LD 29 State Senator Victor Soltero (D)
–former LD 29 State House Rep. Tom Prezelski (D, who ironically lost to Patterson in Sept.2008 in the Democratic primary)
–former LD 9 State House Rep. Lou-Ann Preble (R)
–Kristin Almquist (I), former Director of Tucson office for Governor Janet Napolitano
–Julee Dawson (I), Development director at the Tucson Hebrew Academy
The Board’s motion to appoint these individuals was passed unanimously and gave the committee a deadline of 3 p.m. Friday to select 3 names for the appointment, in order to allow community input over the weekend. Then the Supervisors will select the appointee at a special board meeting at 10 a.m. on April 23.
Present at today’s meeting was Independent* James Kelley, a transportation specialist for Union Pacific Railroad personnel, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, formerly “The Cholla Jumps” blogger here at Tucsoncitizen.com before he created his own blogsite (no longer in operation). Kelley is the only applicant so far for this LD 29 House seat.
At today’s meeting District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll inquired if Pima County Elections or the Recorder’s Office could attempt to send a “robo-call” to all Independents living in LD 29 to inform them of this vacancy and how to apply. The discussion seemed to indicate that this type of publicity would be cost-prohibitive, especially with the contested CD 8 House primary election tomorrow.
* Update: Kelley told me at the meeting today that he is an Independent, but according to Pima County Recorder’s Office, he is still registered as a Republican (and has been since June, 2003). I’ve called Kelley for clarification on this, as he has served as Chair of the LD 29 Republican Party in the past. I just spoke with Kelley and he did register as an Independent on April 11, 2012 (the same day Patterson resigned), and has written confirmation of this from the AZ Secretary of State.