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Arizona Democratic Party chooses State Rep. Raquel Teran as chair

Arizona State Rep. Raquel Teran. (Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Arizona Democrats picked Raquel Terán, a progressive state lawmaker, to be the party’s next chairwoman as they look to maintain their top-of-the-ticket successes and extend them to down-ballot races.

Teran was a leader of the Latino-led movement that organized a decade ago following the passage of SB1070, a state law that targeted people living in the country illegally. She worked on successful efforts to recall the bill’s sponsor, former Sen. Russell Pearce, and defeat Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Teran tweeted out her appreciation of the selection after the announcement Saturday.

Teran represents Legislative District 30 in Phoenix alongside fellow Democrat Robert Meza. She succeeds Felecia Rotellini, who did not seek reelection.

Democrats are emerging from decades in the shadows of Arizona politics. President Joe Biden won the state’s 11 electoral votes, and voters elected Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly in 2018 and 2020, respectively, marking the first time in seven decades that Democrats have held both U.S. Senate seats in Arizona.

But the party has been less successful in lesser-known races. Even as Kelly and Biden won last year, Republicans retained control of both legislative chambers and the state utility regulator. Republicans also won hotly contested races for supervisor, recorder and county attorney in Maricopa County.

Kelly, who won a special election last year to finish the last two years of the late Sen. John McCain’s term, faces a tough reelection fight next year. President Donald Trump’s presence on the ballot led to sky-high turnout last year among his supporters and detractors alike; it’s unclear how Democrats will do without him on the ballot.

Teran won her House seat by a wide margin during a virtual convention with the support of much of the party’s most prominent figures, including Kelly and Sinema, members of Congress, legislative leaders and mayors.

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