New Lawmakers

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Dennis Braswell was named to replace Pamela Gorman in the state senate. There will be other new lawmakers soon as other lawmakers have resigned recently, all to run for congress. Dennis Welch of the Arizona Guardian discusses the changes at the legislature.

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "HORIZON." I'm Ted Simons. There's a new state lawmaker at the capitol. The Maricopa county board of supervisors today named Republican Party district chairman David Braswell to fill the seat of former district 6 senator Pamela Gorman who resigned to run for congress. In naming Braswell to the senate, board chairman Don Stapley told him that he hoped Braswell wouldn't balance the budget on the backs of cities and towns. Here now to talk about the new lawmaker and similar changes expected in other districts is Dennis Welch of the Arizona guardian. Good to see you.

Dennis Welch: Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons: Who is David Braswell?

Dennis Welch: He's a continuation of the tradition of that seat of being very conservative both fiscally and conservatively. I guess, um, you know, um, the one difference between him and his predecessor would be he'd shown a willingness to support the governor's 1 cent sales tax referral we've been talking about now for months.

Ted Simons: Interesting, describe the process now that went into senator Braswell now taking his seat?

Dennis Welch: The process started several weeks ago obviously when Pam Gorman resigned to run for congress on for cd-3. What happened with that was the precinct committee felt votes for her precinct committee had five days to select three candidates those candidates went to the county board of supervisors who made the final decision. Unlike the precinct, they don't have a time limit in which they're going to work on that. In fact, they've been very deliberate in this whole process because the county is looking out for the county. They've been hit hard with all the budget cuts. They feel there's been a lot of unfunded mandates and a lot of costs being pushed from the state back onto the county. They're looking for candidates that will help save them.

Ted Simons: Interesting, you have the resignation, precinct nominees three, board of supervisors looked at three and the board decides that Mr. Braswell is the one. Um, anything -- compare and contrast to senator Gorman?

Dennis Welch: Well, like I said, I think the key difference is senator Gorman when it came to the governor's tax referral was just dug in. She was not going to vote for this thing any which way. Heck, there were stories where the governor had, you know, went down there personally try to lobby the senator and she just wasn't going to give in. Now, Braswell had told me last week before the vote that he would be willing to, you know, consider this he described the governor's plans as thoughtful and saying, hey, it's realistic. We have to look at the fact that revenues are down in the state. We've got to look at these ideas. We've got to deal with the kind of money we have.

Ted Simons: Also up in anthem way, Representative Sam Crump. Has he gone ahead and resigned yet?

Dennis Welch: Yes, he's gone ahead and resigned. Tonight, they're going to be announcing the same process as Gorman. They'll be selecting three candidates that will then go before the board no big-named candidates in that one. So there'll be doing that over the next few days and also in the next few days, the board will be selecting from a replacement for Jim Waring as well. It's a busy time up there because the shaddock resignation has really changed the landscape of Arizona politics right now.

Ted Simons: Let's not forget Senator Jonathan Peyton whom I guess still hasn't resigned but is expected now. He's probably going to resign so he can run for congressional district 8. How is all of this impacting the legislature? Are folks kind of wandering around a little bit trying to figure out who will sit next to them?

Dennis Welch: There's that and vote counting is pretty hard. Some people who may have voted one way on an issue last year aren't going to do it this year. You know, with certain people like Jonathan Peyton, he's trying to get certain bills out of the way before he runs for congress, certain things he wants to get done that maybe helps him in a republican primary. He's running for congress. That's really how that's impacting that right now.

Ted Simons: And back to Braswell real quickly. Anyone not pleased you think with his choice?

Dennis Welch: This is rumored between you and I and no one else, the governor and the senate president and the speaker apparently had different ideas about who should be appointed to fill this spot. Um, last week, the board had agreed on a Friday or Thursday or Friday date to appoint this spot and then unexpectedly postponed that until today. So, you know, there was definitely some disagreement on that. And moving forward, they're going to be very deliberate, again, a very deliberate about whom they pick. They'll be finding out who these people are, where they're going to be when they need them later in the year when we're looking at really steep budget cuts again.

Ted Simons: Interesting, board of supervisors have the final say?

Dennis Welch: They have the final say. I think close to 5% of the entire legislature will be appointed by the Maricopa County and Pima board of supervisors. It's an incredible thing when you think about it. I don't think---- we've had so many people having to be appointed.

Ted Simons: Good stuff, Dennis. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

Dennis Welch:Arizona Guardian;

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