Does BOS pick for LD6 hint at LD7 selection?

By Linda Bentley | February 10, 2010

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dave braswellPHOENIX – On Monday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (BOS) appointed David Braswell to represent District 6 in the Arizona Senate, filling the post vacated by Republican Pamela Gorman, who resigned to run for the U.S. House of Representatives following Rep. John Shadegg’s announcement that he would not be seeking reelection.

In a press release issued Monday morning announcing the selection of Braswell, Supervisor Andy Kunasek stated, “We had three excellent candidates sent to us by the District 6 precinct committeemen. Any one of them would have served the state well, but I felt Mr. Braswell, as a small business owner, was the best pick for our state at this time.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Jim Waring, R-Dist. 7, who will be termed-out in the Senate and was running for state treasurer prior to Shadegg’s announcement, decided he would scrap his plans for treasurer and he too would run for Shadegg’s seat in Arizona’s third congressional district.

That meant LD7 also needed to elect three Republican candidates so the BOS could select one to fill the balance of Waring’s term.

LD7 held a special meeting on Feb. 4 for that purpose.

Chairman West Kenyon said it was the largest LD7 meeting in history.

dean martinState Treasurer Dean Martin, who is running for governor, spoke briefly before the nominations commenced, and stated, “We don’t need a tax increase to balance the budget. We need to stop spending more than we’re taking in.”

Although he said the state defines success “by how many people we help,” Martin received a round of applause when he stated success should be measured “by the number of people who no longer need help.”

Second Vice Chairman Brenda Barry announced the “final credentials,” stating there were 78 voting precinct committeemen (PCs) in attendance and 23 by proxy. Only elected PCs may vote, not those appointed to their post.

Barry said they had a quorum and nominees would be required to receive a minimum of 51 votes.

One PC said Rep. Nancy Barto held at least 10 of the 23 proxies.

Waring, along with Reps. Barto and Ray Barnes spoke briefly before the nomination process began.nancy barto

Opting not to use the microphone, Waring introduced his wife, who is pregnant with twins, said he was running for the U.S. House of Representatives and was told he “has a pretty good chance of winning.”

Barnes joked about how he was so dedicated to his role in the legislature that he died for his job (Barnes suffered heart failure during a previous legislative session requiring CPR to revive him).

Barto said she voted in favor of placing a 1 percent sales tax increase on the ballot, so voters could decide.

Apparently so did Barnes.

Once Barry announced the “final credentials,” Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen explained the process and said they first needed to adopt rules.

Precinct Committeeman Howard Levine moved to amend the rules to clarify that the lowest vote getter in each round would be eliminated. The rules were then adopted as amended.
There were three rounds of voting.

kristen burroughsBarto was selected in the first round with 54 votes, while Michael Coskun was eliminated with 30. The second round served only to eliminate Kristen Burroughs, who received 36 votes while none of the nominees received a majority.

Burroughs stated earlier during her speech there were many people who believed the person had already been selected to fill the senate seat in a back-room deal.

Several attendees recalled Barto was originally appointed to her legislative post by obtaining enough proxies to secure her nomination after David Burnell Smith was removed from office for a clean elections violation, giving her the benefit of incumbency.

LD7 First Vice Chairman Ed Bunch and Barnes were selected during the third round, with 62 and 60 votes respectively, while LD7 Treasurer April Riggins lost with 53 votes.

It will be interesting to see if what’s deemed good for the state in LD6 is good for LD7, where Bunch is also a small business owner.

howard levine and ray barnesBunch vowed, during his short speech, he would serve out the rest of Waring’s term and would not seek reelection as an incumbent that was selected by the BOS.

Since Barto and Barnes are both state representatives, if either is selected, then LD7 Republican PCs will have to go through the process all over again and the BOS will have to appoint a representative to fill the balance of that term.

Bunch, who is Cave Creek Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch’s younger brother, would appear to be the logical choice, based not only on Kunasek’s comment about a small business owner being “the best pick for our state at this time,” but so the BOS doesn’t have to appoint more people to office than necessary.