Justice Bolick Swears-In Senator Bolick

Justice Bolick Swears-In Senator Bolick

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s newest state senator is ready for work.

This past Friday, Shawnna Bolick was sworn into office at the state senate. Bolick received the oath of office from her husband, Arizona State Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick.

After being installed as a state legislator, Bolick tweeted, “What a warm welcome to the State Senate! Thank you to our LD2 GOP PCs and my family who have made it possible to return to the Legislature to represent we the people. As many of my friends and supporters know, returning to politics was not on my dance card. On Thursday evening we returned from a very short trip to Prague, and I am slowly putting jet lag behind me. Thank you for all of the texts, emails, DMs, and phone calls. I am still responding to your thoughtful congratulatory notes and setting up meetings to get to work for Arizona!”

Bolick was also joined by two sitting senators for her swearing-in ceremony: Senate Pro Tempore T.J. Shope and Majority Whip Sine Kerr. Shope tweeted, “It was an honor to have Majority Whip Sine Kerr join me as Senator Shawnna Bolick was sworn into office by her husband, Justice Clint Block! Senator Bolick will undoubtedly serve the people of LD2 with distinction and will be a wonderful additional to our Arizona Senate Republican Caucus!”

Before Justice Bolick administered the oath to his wife, he said, “Sweetheart, you never cease to amaze me, and I am enormously proud of you. As you know, we’re in different branches of government; when you’re a candidate, I can’t campaign for you; I can’t endorse you. In the Legislature, I can’t give you any advice, but there are three things I can do. First of all, is to commend you for being one of the most amazing public servants I’ve ever known, and I mean that in the literal and best sense of the word. The second is I can swear you in, and the third is, after I swear you in, I can kiss you – and I don’t normally do that when I swear people in.”

Republican Representative Justin Wilmeth reacted to the moment of Bolick’s swearing in, writing, “Such an amazing video: I know people don’t wanna admit we’re actual normal people with emotions, but we are. Very touching moment here between one of my favorite couples out there. Damn proud to have Shawnna Bolick as my new state senator.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

LD2 Precinct Committeemen Choose 3 Nominees To Replace Kaiser

LD2 Precinct Committeemen Choose 3 Nominees To Replace Kaiser

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s Legislature is about to have a new member within its ranks.

This week, Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jeff DeWit sent a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, informing them that “on Monday, June 26, 2023, the elected Precinct Committeemen of Legislative District 2 convened a meeting to nominate three qualified electors to fill a vacancy in the legislature.”

DeWit revealed that the nominees were Shawnna Bolick, Josh Barnett, and Paul Carver.

Carver, the chairman of the Legislative District 2 Republicans, posted on his Facebook account that he is “honored to be among those chosen,” adding that “the meeting ran smooth and our LD did not disappoint with the Nominees. We are blessed in our LD to have so many amazing Patriots.”

Bolick, who served in the Arizona House before an unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State in 2022, thanked the precinct committeemen who nominated her as one of the individuals for this vacancy, writing, “I honorably served my constituents at the Capitol for four years. I know what it takes to win. I am the only candidate who can hit the ground running on day one. While I was at the Capitol, I led the charge in so many policy areas with many of my bills earning bipartisan support and becoming law making me the best nominee to effectively represent LD2. I look forward to meeting with the Board of Supervisors to discuss with them why I would be the best replacement to represent Legislative District 2.”

Before he earned a coveted nomination, Barnett, who had previously run for U.S. Congress in the 2022 Republican Primary, tweeted, “I’m the one that can win in 2024 and defeat Judy Schweibert. I have the knowledge, wherewithal, & grit to get things done for the People. Some have already lost to Schweibert in past races and some have no real understanding of our 51 Constitutions. I am asking for your vote tonight to let me show you what can happen when someone is actually standing up against corruption and unapologetically using the Constitution to its fullest extent to our advantage.”

The legislative vacancy came about due to the sudden resignation of former Senator Steve Kaiser, who announced his plans to step down from his seat earlier this month. Kaiser’s resignation was official on June 22, giving Republican precinct committeemen in Arizona Legislative District 2 the opportunity to handpick nominees for consideration by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Legislative District 2 is expected to be very competitive in November 2024, and at least one Democrat is already eyeing the Senate seat in the next General Election. Representative Judy Schwiebert wasted little time in staking a claim to a run for the Arizona Senate, tweeting on June 16 that she would be throwing her name into the Democrat primary for this district.

The Arizona Republican Party’s Chairman thanked Carver and the precinct committeemen “for their professionalism, hard work, and dedication to ensuring a smooth, fair, and transparent process.” DeWit stated that “we anticipate a prompt appointment by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors so that the work of the Legislature can continue.”

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ role in selecting replacements for legislative vacancies has been a point of contention between them and some Republicans in the state legislature. Earlier this year, Senator J.D. Mesnard took to the floor of his chamber to address the Maricopa County Supervisors’ ongoing consideration of two legislative vacancies in both the House and the Senate. Mesnard’s frustrations boiled over on the Senate floor as he laid out his charge against the Supervisors’ alleged delay in filling the two vacancies for 19 (Senate vacancy) and 20 (House vacancy) days. He informed his colleagues that “the length of these vacancies is the longest, while we’ve been in session, in half a century – 56 years!” The East Valley lawmaker also said that 8.76 days is the historical average to fill the vacancy.

Senator Mesnard hinted that maybe his colleagues should take future action to change the statute to force the county board of supervisors to act with more urgency when filling vacancies during a legislative session.

The hint of legislation from Mesnard may be a reality in short order. On June 25, Arizona Senator Justine Wadsack tweeted, “I plan to introduce legislation that removes the power of the County BOS from choosing people to replace legislators who are Expelled or Resign. We must put the power in the hands of the PCs, who’s authority currently ends at presenting (3) candidates for the BOS to choose from.”

Freshman Representative Austin Smith suggested that this proposal could be presented to Arizona voters as a constitutional amendment – especially due to a Democrat governor who could be hostile to this idea from Republican legislators.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.