Which Arizona lawmakers have left the legislature?

The effects of the “big resignation” of 2021 may have reached the halls of the Arizona legislature, with the departure of 11 lawmakers this year.

So far in 2021, one lawmaker has passed away and 10 have voluntarily left the posts for which they were originally elected.

The big resignation, a phrase originally from Texas A&M University professor Anthony Klotz, has been used to characterize the tendency of millions of employees to leave their current jobs.

Last month, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 4.3 million Americans quit their workplaces in August, setting an all-time high. The earth-shattering changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted many to take stock of what’s important.

Members of the Arizona legislature also appear to have been affected by this phenomenon, with some lawmakers leaving to pursue other careers and others leaving long-standing positions to take on a more senior position.

Eight of the 10 representatives who leave on their own leave the Legislative Assembly altogether, with two representatives leaving their posts after being appointed to another government chamber.

Below is a list of Arizona lawmakers who left this year:

Departures from the legislature

Arizona House:

1. Charlene Fernandez (4D) of Yuma officially leaves the Arizona Legislature on November 15 to serve as the US Department of Agriculture Director of Rural Development for Arizona.

2. November 15 also marks Dr. Randy Friese (9D) ‘s last day in the House, where he will “refocus on medical career and service” in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

3. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (10D) Tucson’s Pima County Board of Directors stepped down after being appointed in late October to take Kirsten Engel’s seat in the Senate.

4. Aaron Lieberman (28D) of Paradise Valley resigned in September to run for governor.

5. Becky Nutt (14R) The Clifton resident who became Pearce resigned on Nov. 1 for “no reason given,” according to the Arizona Legislature’s membership list.

6. Frank Pratt (8R) of Casa Grande passed away in September in the middle of his second term from a long-lasting ailment.

7. Bret Roberts (11R) of Maricopa resigned about two months ago because he was moving to another state.

8. Chinle’s Arlando Teller (7D) resigned just over a week after President Joe Biden was inaugurated as Assistant Under Secretary for Tribal Affairs at the US Department of Transportation.

9. Raquel Terán (30D) resigned from his post in mid-September to take Tony Navarrete’s seat in the Senate.

Arizona Senate

10. Kirsten Engel (10D) resigned on September 8 to run for the US House of Representatives. The current incumbent, Tucsonan rep Ann Kirkpatrick, is retiring.

11. Tony Navarrete (30D) of Phoenix resigned on August 10 after being charged with child sex crimes.

Selected replacements for the legislature

By law, the corresponding departmental supervisory board must designate a representative of the same party to replace the outgoing elected representative.

The replacement will serve the remainder of the departing member’s 24-month term. One person is chosen from a menu of three candidates, proposed by the main members of the incumbent’s party. The new representatives are listed below.

Arizona House:

1. TBD (Yuma County has yet to name Fernandez’s replacement).

2. TBD (Pima County has yet to nominate Friese’s replacement).

3. TBD (Pima County has yet to nominate Stahl Hamilton’s replacement).

4. Lieberman’s successor is Sarah Liguori, D-North Central Phoenix, commercial real estate manager in a private company. This is Liguori’s first elected post. She was appointed by the supervisors of Maricopa County.

5. TBD (Cochise County has yet to nominate Nutt’s replacement).

6. Lawyer and software instructor Neal Carter (R-San Tan Valley) is so fiercely against mask warrants that he drove 1,500 miles from Illinois to Arizona to avoid wearing a cover -protective face in an airplane. He was appointed on October 27. Carter unsuccessfully ran for Pratt’s place in the Republican primary.

7. The Pinal County Supervisory Board chose Teresa Martinez (R-Casa Grande) on October 27 to take on Robert’s post. She is the Director of Coalitions and Hispanic Outreach for US Representative Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.

8. Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren (D-Red Mesa) was appointed by the Apache County Supervisory Board in early February to replace Teller. She is a lawyer and a member of the Navajo Nation.

9. An architect by training, Christian Solorio succeeds Terán in the Arizona legislature. Appointed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on October 27, Solorio, a Democrat, serves on the board of directors of the Alhambra School District.

Arizona Senate:

10. Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (D-Tucson) has been appointed to the Senate to take the seat of Engel.

11. Representative Raquel Terán (D-Phoenix) has been appointed to the Senate to replace Navarrete.

Tara Kavaler covers politics. Contact her at tara.kavaler@gannett.com.

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