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These prominent Arizona Republican lawmakers aren't seeking reelection

Several high-profile Republican lawmakers at the Arizona Legislature will not seek reelection in November.

Both Rep. Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert), the president pro tempore of the Arizona House, and Sen. Sine Kerr (R-Buckeye), majority whip in the Arizona Senate, did not file petitions with the Secretary of State’s Office to run for reelection. 

As Speaker Pro Tempore, Grantham often oversees votes in the House and presides over the chamber when Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) is not on the floor. But after four terms in the House, he is barred from running for reelection to the House by term limits approved by Arizona voters.

It’s not uncommon for termed out lawmakers to switch chambers to circumvent the term limit law, which specifically applies to four consecutive terms served in either the House or Senate. For instance, Sen. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) has served in the Legislature since 2009, regularly switching between the House and Senate.  

But Grantham said he was not interested in running for Senate.

“I’m wanting to honor my term limits — I believe in them,” Grantham said. “And I also would just like to take a short break for personal matters.”

Grantham is also seatmates with Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), another high-profile Republican, meaning he would have had to run against Petersen for the seat if he wanted to switch chambers.

But Grantham said that did not factor into his decision.

“I am going to come back and run for something else, but I am just going to take about a two-year hiatus,” Grantham said.

As Majority Whip in the Arizona Senate, Kerr is responsible for counting votes in a chamber where Republicans hold a one-vote majority, and often pass bills on party lines. She is also influential over Arizona water policy as the chair of the committee on natural resources, energy and water.

Kerr did not respond to requests for comment.

Republican Reps. Barbara and Jacqueline Parker, a mother-daughter team that represent separate East Valley districts, also did not file petitions to seek re-election. Barbara Parker is a freshman lawmaker and Jacqueline Parker is in her second term in office.

The Parkers are members of the far-right Freedom Caucus led by Sen. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek). Rep. Jacqueline Parker is chair of a new House committee investigating Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect how long Rep. Jacqueline Parker has served in the Legislature and where state Sen. John Kavanagh is based.

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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.