State Rep. Victoria Steele (D-LD9) resigned from the Arizona Legislature yesterday, saying she wanted to focus on her congressional campaign. Steele hopes to challenge freshman Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-CD2), but first she has to win the Democratic primary race against former state lawmaker Matt Heinz.
In a press release, Steele said the decision was "not easy."
"A lot of people worked hard to help me get elected to LD9 not only once, but twice and I am grateful for all of their support and devotion over the years," Steele said. "I have poured my heart and soul into representing the people of this district without regard for politics, race, gender, or economic status. I believe that being a strong representative means working with members of both parties and I have sought to uphold that philosophy throughout my career in the legislature."
While it might not have been an easy decision, it was probably the smart one. The fundraising demands of a congressional alone—leaving aside the time spent out on the trail doing grassroots organizing and pressing the flesh—requires a huge amount of time. Trying to do that alongside keeping track of bills, attending committee hearings and handling the other demands of the legislative session is a recipe for failure.
Democratic precincts leaders in LD9—which basically includes most of Tucson on the north side of Speedway, as well as the Catalina Foothills and Casas Adobes area—will have to meet in the upcoming days to submit three names to the Pima County Board of Supervisors to make a final pick.
So far, we hear that four Democrats are interested in the appointment: Pamela Powers Hannley, the editor of the American Journal of Medicine, a lefty blogger and Democratic Party activist; Ted Prezelski, an aide to Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham, a former blogger and a Democratic Party activist; Matt Kopec, an aide to Tucson City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich and a veteran of local political campaigns; and Aaron Rottenstein, who has worked in communications for the U.S. House of Representatives as well as on local political campaigns.