Panel Picks Finalists For Commission To Draw Arizona's Next Set Of Political Maps
Twenty-five finalists for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission have been selected.
Four partisan members — two Republicans and two Democrats — will be selected by legislative leaders next year, and those four will then choose from five independent candidates to hold the tie-breaking chair seat.
If history is any indicator, that vote will be key in this next round of redistricting.
Voters decided in 2000 that the state’s legislative and congressional districts should be drawn by an independent commission instead of by the Legislature, which had controlled the process since statehood.
But even the independent commission has not avoided political controversy.
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments last week held interviews for nearly 50 candidates. From that group, it narrowed the list down to 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats and 5 Independents.
That list of 25 nominees, announced Tuesday, will be passed onto state lawmakers, who have until the end of January to make final appointments to the commission.
Democratic nominees are Grant Buma (Yavapai County), Ernest Calderon, Esq., Ed.D. (Maricopa County), Bryan E. Cooperrider (Coconino County), Donald E. Evans (Maricopa County), Robert P. Kovitz (Pima County), Shereen Lerner, Ph.D. (Maricopa County), James H. Robbins, Jr. (Maricopa County), Derrick B. Watchman (Apache County), Maxine E. P. White (Maricopa County) and Teresa D. Wyatt (Pima County).
Republican nominees are Jonathan Allred (Maricopa County), Scott D. Crouch (Maricopa County), Lisa A. Davis (Maricopa County), Paul Djurisic, Esq. (Maricopa County), Kevin P. Kopp (Maricopa County), David Mehl (Pima County), Brandi G. Oveson (Apache County), Walter R. Schoch (Maricopa County), Michael G. Striplin (Pinal County) and Douglas W. York (Maricopa County)
Independent nominees are Nicole M. Cullen (Maricopa County), Thomas Loquvam, Esq. (Maricopa County), Erika Schupak Neuberg, Ph.D. (Maricopa County), Gregory M. Teesdale (Pima County), and Robert S. Wilson (Coconino County).
For insight about what to expect from this latest bunch of candidates, The Show spoke with Jeremy Duda of the Arizona Mirror.