The 5 member citizens committee appointed by the Pima County Bd. of Supervisors met today at the County Administration Building, and selected 3 of 11 applicants as nominees for the vacant LD 29 House Seat. Rep. Daniel Patterson resigned on April 11, setting into motion this process to select his replacement.
The 5 member committee were composed of 3 former legislators (State Senator Victor Soltero, State House Rep. Lou-Ann Preble, and Rep. Tom Prezelski), plus two community members– Kristin Almquist (former director of Governor Napolitano’s Tucson office) and Julee Dawson, development director at Tucson Hebrew Academy. Soltero & Prezelski are registered Democrats, Preble is a Republican, and Dawson & Almquist are registered Independent voters. The committee elected Almquist as committee Chair this morning.
Since Patterson resigned as an Independent, though elected as a Democrat twice (2008 and 2010), the successor needs to be an Independent living in District 29. 10 men and one woman had applied to the Pima County Clerk, and the 3 selected for nomination are:
- Nicholas Fontana, J.D. practicing attorney, Judge Pro Tem at Tohono O’odham Tribal Court
- Albert Jordan, aerospace engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems, current Independent candidate for LD 2 House
- Leon Sierra, business representative at the International Union of Operating Engineers, former Marine
Information from Pima County Recorder’s Office provided to the committee in writing this morning: Fontana has been an Independent only since 4/14/12, prior to that a Democrat. Jordan has been registered as an Independent since May, 2002 when he first registered to vote. Sierra was a Democrat and changed to Independent in June, 2011.
For the full list/bios of the 11 who applied, here’s the AZ Daily Star article:http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/apply-to-represent-tucson-in-legislature/article_0adcbdca-4786-5c3c-bf01-a63b05ce29ae.html. Stephania O’Neill withdrew her application before the committee met to deliberate today. Dr. Joseph Scott, husband of Ward 4 Councilmember Shirley Scott was also one of the applicants.
I attended the first hour and half of today’s meeting. The committee stated their criteria of selection would be political engagement/experience, knowledge of legislative process, availability of the candidate to move to Phoenix till the Legislature adjoined, how long been an Independent, and grasp of the issues facing the Legislature.
On Monday at 9 a.m. the Pima County Board of Supervisors will select and appoint one of these for the job. Public input is encouraged through the Pima County website (click here) or by calling/writing to your respective District 1 to 5 Supervisors. You can send comments to COB_mail@pima.gov. If you have anything to say about any of these 3 nominees, now is the time to speak up. Their cover letters and resumes are online by clicking on their respective names.