Former Navajo gaming official is fourth redistricting commissioner

Photo by omersukrugoksu | iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The four partisan members of the next Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission are set after Senate Minority Leader David Bradley chose Derrick Watchman, the former head of Navajo Nation’s gaming operations who now runs a banking and finance advisory company, as the panel’s second Democrat.

Watchman joins Republicans David Mehl, a Tucson developer, and Douglas York, who owns a Phoenix-based landscaping and irrigation supply company, and Democrat Shereen Lerner, an anthropology and archaeology professor at Mesa Community College, on the next AIRC, which will draw the legislative and congressional districts that Arizona will use for the next decade.

Bradley, D-Tucson, cited Watchman’s 35 years of professional experience in tribal government, economic development and business as qualifications that will serve him well on the IRC.

“We believe his experience as a leader in the business community gives him the consensus building skills that will make him successful in this very important role,” Bradley said in a press release.

The four partisan members will select one of five independents as the redistricting commission’s fifth and final member, who will serve as the panel’s chair.

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