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.

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

By Loretta Hunnicutt |

From the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to local school board positions, several conservatives are currently leading or have already won key races on the education front in the 2022 General Election.

As of press time, Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), Tom Horne, had increased his lead in his challenge of incumbent Kathy Hoffman. Horne previously served as SPI from 2003 to 2011, prior to successfully running for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. If the results hold up, Horne says his focus as SPI will be on improving student performance and eradicating Critical Race Theory-based curriculum from Arizona’s public schools.

In the Peoria Unified School District race, Heather Rooks won a hard-fought and challenging race. Her efforts to expose the Social Emotional Learning-based policies and practices in the district eventually led her to request an injunction against an activist parent. As reported by the Arizona Daily Independent, Rooks, a mother of four school-aged children, obtained the injunction based on threats from Democrat activist, Josh Gray.

Two other conservative candidates, Amy Carney and Carine Werner, secured seats on the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board. Their victories serve as a powerful repudiation of out-going Governing Board Member Jann-Michael Greenburg. Greenburg was sued by parents who accused him of trying to silence them after they exposed his secret Google Drive dossier on them. As AZ Free News reported in April, that dossier included a trove of political opposition research on parents, who opposed the district’s adoption of Social Emotional Learning and Critical Race Theory.

In the race for Flowing Wells School District Governing Board—an area known for being blue—conservative Brianna Hernandez Hamilton is currently holding on to one of two open spots. A mother of three very young children, Hernandez Hamilton ran with the slogan: “Parents + Teachers = Quality Education.”

Kurt Rohrs, a long-time education activist and frequent contributor to AZ Free News, won a spot on the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. Rohrs, like Horne, focused on improving student performance and eliminating the divisive Critical Race Theory from the district’s curriculum. Many see Rohrs’ presence on the board as an opportunity to restore calm to the district which had become the center of controversy thanks to out-going board member Lindsay Love.

In the race for Dysart Unified School District Governing Board, conservative Dawn Densmore was retained by voters. As current president of the board, Densmore successfully led the fight to end the district’s relationship with the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA). Jennifer Drake also won a seat on the board.

Sandra Christensen is set to win a seat on the Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board. Libby Settle and Madicyn Reid are in the lead for spots in Fountain Hills. Paul Carver should take a win in Deer Valley. Jackie Ulmer appears to have been successful in Cave Creek as well as Rachel Walden in Mesa and Chad Thompson in Gilbert. In the Higley Unified School District, conservative Anna Van Hoek also won a seat on the board.

In a tweet from earlier this week, former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos summed up what many parents have been feeling over the past few years – left out. In response to the National Education Association’s claim that teachers “know better than anyone” what students need in the classroom, DeVos responded, “You misspelled parents.”