Timing may be everything when it comes to redistricting commission picks

House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The timeline for appointing the four partisan members of the next Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is unclear, and the answer could determine not only when the selections are made but who is making them.

Republican and Democratic leaders in each chamber of the legislature select the first four members of the IRC. The speaker of the House of Representatives makes the first pick, followed, in order, by the House minority leader, Senate president and Senate minority leader. The two Democrats and two Republicans selected by the lawmakers choose the fifth member, an independent who serves as chair.

The Arizona Constitution gives the House speaker until Jan. 31 to make a choice. But the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, which vets redistricting applicants, selected its 25 finalists — 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and five independents — last week, and the list is now ready for legislative leaders.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, could pick the first member of the next IRC any time he wishes. And that would start a ticking clock for Rep. Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, the House minority leader.

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