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First Candidate Certified To Run For Trent Franks' Seat

Several prominent lawmakers have expressed interest in running in a special election to replace Republican Rep. Trent Franks. However, the Secretary of State’s Office has only certified one candidate so far — and he’s not one of the best-known names.

His name is Clair Van Steenwyk, and the Sun City West Republican filed 1,200 signatures to make the ballot late last week. He’s a tea party activist who challenged Franks in the 2014 and 2016 primaries — and won nearly 30 percent of the vote in 2016.

Franks stepped down amid sexual harassment allegations last month.

Other Republicans who have announced they’ll run for his seat in the heavily Republican 8th Congressional District include former Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump and current or former legislators Steve Montenegro, Phil Lovas and Debbie Lesko.

Candidates have until Jan. 10 to file qualifying signatures.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.