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Pima County supervisors appoint Villegas as new LD20 representative

The Pima County Board of Supervisors appointed Democrat Betty Villegas to fill the vacant Arizona House seat in Legislative District 20.

She’ll replace former Rep. Andrés Cano, a Tucson Democrat who served as the minority leader of the Democratic Caucus. Cano resigned earlier this month to pursue a master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Villegas will serve out the remainder of Cano’s term, which expires in January 2025.

She was the top choice by the board among three Democratic women — Elma Alvarez and Lourdes Espinoza were also nominated to the post by precinct committee members in LD20, which covers central Tucson.

Villegas previously served as a Pima County supervisor in 2020 and was the longtime manager of the county’s affordable housing program. She currently serves as the director of housing and community development for south Tucson.

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Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.