2 Arizona Legislature vacancies in hands of Maricopa County supervisors

Apr 19, 2023, 9:11 AM

(KTAR News Photos)...

(KTAR News Photos)

(KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX – Two vacant seats in the Arizona Legislature will remain unfilled at least until next week, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said Tuesday.

The supervisors have a meeting with counsel set for Monday to go over the appointment process and address legal matters, but they won’t vote on the nominees that day. They also plan to conduct background checks and interviews before taking action, according to a press release.

The District 13 House seat is open because Republican Liz Harris was expelled last Wednesday for letting a witness make wide-ranging accusations of bribery during a February hearing about election reforms in violation of chamber rules.

On Thursday, Democrat Raquel Terán resigned from her District 26 Senate seat to focus on a 2024 congressional campaign. She previously announced she was running for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is running for Senate in 2024.

The replacements must be from the same party under the state law that dictates the process for filling vacancies.

The Board of Supervisors is tasked with choosing from among the three nominees for each vacancy who were selected by party precinct committeemen on Monday.

Harris was nominated to return to the seat she was expelled from, along with Julie Willoughby and Steve Steele. Willoughby finished just 270 votes behind Harris in last year’s general election in a race that went to an automatic recount under state law because it was so close.

Democrats nominated the two current District 26 House members, Reps. Cesar Aguilar and Flavio Bravo, along with Quant’a Crews. If Aguilar or Bravo get the nod, the replacement process will have to be repeated for the House vacancy it will create.

District 13 covers parts of Chandler and Gilbert and is represented at the county level by Supervisor Jack Sellers, a Republican. District 26 is based in west Phoenix and is represented by Supervisor Steve Gallardo, the board’s only Democrat.

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2 Arizona Legislature vacancies in hands of Maricopa County supervisors