Rep. Bret Roberts’ resignation from his Legislative District 11 seat in the Arizona Legislature has kicked off the process of naming his replacement, which will be determined by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.
According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, legislative vacancies are filled by the county board of supervisors in the county in which the vacated seat lies. Since LD 11 lies in both Pinal and Pima counties, the Pinal County supervisors select the replacement because there are more voters in the district from Pinal than Pima County.
Precinct committee members from the departed legislator’s political party will provide the Pinal County Board of Supervisors up to three candidates from which to choose. Since Roberts is a Republican, his successor will be chosen by the Republican precinct committee members.
The replacement legislator’s term will run until the permanent successor takes office in January 2023.
Supervisor Jeff McClure, who represents Maricopa in District 4 of the county board, said he is unsure about the timing of the process but wants the replacement to have time to prepare before the next session of the legislature convenes on Jan. 18.
“I certainly think we’ll need someone in place before start of next legislative session,” McClure said. “The person will need a few weeks to get up to speed on the issues, and we don’t want them up there saying, ‘Where’s my office, who is my assistant?” I would certainly think it would be done by November, but that’s just a guess on my part.”
McClure said since the supervisors haven’t had to deal with this issue in the past, they are just getting their arms around the process now. They are looking at how Maricopa County has handled the issue since they have had several resignations in the recent past.
“We’ll know more about it in the next four or five days,” he said. “This issue will not be discussed in the work session during Wednesday’s meeting – it’s not on the agenda for that. That agenda was set before Roberts resigned.”
Asked if he had a candidate in mind to replace Roberts, McClure said, “Sure, I know a few people who’d be interested, but I won’t say who those people are at this time.”
McClure said he didn’t know if the precinct committeemen have begun putting names to together yet. He said after the committeemen give the list to the board of supervisors, they will have, “a few weeks” to select the new representative.
“It could take three days; it could take two months” McClure said.
No surprise. It’s difficult replacing an honorable man who cares about his community. Those are some big shoes to fill. I wish Mr. Roberts the absolute best in his future. Yea, I’m a little upset too he is leaving, but lets’ keep a stiff upper lip.