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West Valley Democrats miss deadline to fill legislative vacancy

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday to appoint a committee to fill a legislative vacancy, even though West Valley Democrats already nominated candidates for the position this week. 

Democrats in Legislative District 22 selected Tolleson Unified High School Board President Elda Luna-Najera, political organizer Natacha Chavez and former state Sen. Martin Quezada on Monday to replace Rep. Leezah Sun, who resigned last month. 

But they made those selections 10 days after Secretary of State Adrian Fontes officially notified them of the vacancy on Feb. 2. 

State law requires local parties to nominate candidates within five days of receiving that notice.

If they miss that deadline, the law calls on the Board of Supervisors to form a committee of residents in the legislative district to nominate three candidates to fill the vacancy. Like Sun, those nominees must be Democrats.

The board will meet at 1 p.m. to create the committee, which will then have five days to select three Democratic nominees.

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Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.