NDRC Backs Lawsuit Over Arizona IRC ‘Independents’
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A Lobbyist & A Trump Rally Host Are Unfit to Serve As Independents on the Arizona IRC
Phoenix, Arizona, October 23—Today, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) announced it was funding a lawsuit filed this morning in Arizona by Rep. Charlene Fernandez, House Democratic Leader, and Sen. David Bradley, Senate Democratic Leader, to remove two registered “independents” from the slate of five candidates for Chair of the next Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). The suit, which was filed in Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County, seeks to remove Thomas Loquvam and Robert Wilson from consideration.
Thomas Loquvam is general counsel and vice president of corporate services at utility company EPCOR. Loquvam is also a lobbyist, a line of work prohibited in the Arizona Constitution under voter-approved Proposition 106 that created the IRC in 2000. Robert Wilson has hosted a rally for President Trump, as well as other Republican candidates, in the parking lot of his Flagstaff gun store.
“The bottom line here is that neither Thomas Loquvam nor Robert Wilson are true independents which means they are not qualified to Chair the IRC and should be removed from the pool of candidates. The Arizona Constitution explicitly prohibits lobbyists from this position, meaning that Loquvam should have never even been considered. And hosting a rally for an incumbent president should clearly disqualify Wilson from serving as independent.” said John Bisognano, Executive Director of NDRC. “Arizonans deserve a fair and independent redistricting process which would be impossible if either of these two candidates are selected as the independent chair of the commission.”
The Chair of the IRC is an incredibly powerful and influential role that will help determine the maps for Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts for the next decade. The Chair must be independent and ready to uphold the unique role of leading this commission, receptive to the different interests and concerns Arizonas will bring, and able to lead the commission to consensus and fair maps that truly represent Arizona.
The verified complaint can be viewed here. The motion for a temporary restraining order can be viewed here.