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Tucsonan selected as state Redistricting Commission chair

The Redistricting Commission selected Colleen Coyle Mathis as chairwoman this afternoon, according to a press release from the Secretary of State’s office.

Mathis, an Independent who used to be a Republican, is a government funding manager at University Physicians Healthcare. She has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Illinois and a master’s in environmental management from Yale, according to her application for the post.

In her application letter she wrote, “As a registered Independent, my political philosophy can best be described as moderate and I admit to having grown fond of the moniker, ‘post-partisan.’ While some may view Independents as disengaged, dispassionate or noncommittal, the status well accommodates my desire to evaluate a candidate’s credentials and fit for a position without pressure from any party.”

She will head a five-member body tasked with redrawing the state’s legislative and Congressional district boundaries, including carving out a ninth Congressional district. The chairman is picked by the other four members who were selected by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state Legislature.

State law requires the chairman of the commission be a registered independent who has not played any active role in political campaigns in the recent past.

The other members of the commission are: Republcians Scott Freeman (Maricopa County) and Rick Stertz (Pima County) and Democrats Chad Campbell (Maricopa County) and Linda McNulty (Pima County) Mathis gives Pima County three members on the commission.

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