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Over at our sister blog, Arizona Week Notebook, the topic this week is redistricting. Read all about it all week as the political faceoff develops.

And watch Arizona Week on Friday for the latest developments.


The first email criticizing the map came from Governor Jan Brewer. She called it “gerrymandering at its worst.” The Governor also said the Independent Redistricting Commission misused its authority to draw a Congressional map that is “every Democrat’s dream.”

A few minutes later, US Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl sent out a joint statement saying the proposed map was made in a political and not a fair way. The statement was quickly followed by an email from Republican Congressman Jeff Flake who is running for US Senate. Flake said the IRC sacrificed communities of interest to make competitive districts.

And moments after that, the state Democratic Party sent out a release decrying what they see as a coordinated Republican attack on the IRC.

The map is now open to public comment.


Endorsements are a regular part of elections. Candidates use them to tout their range of supporters, and they're not usually newsworthy, with some exceptions.

So far, in the Tucson city election cycle, we've heard about a few groups endorsing Democratic Mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild, including several area labor unions, the Sierra Club and the city police and fire unions.

There hasn't been much endorsement news from Republican Mayoral candidate Rick Grinnell, and he doesn't list endorsements on his website.

But one of the more unexpected endorsements to find its way to the AZPM political reporters is for Green Mayoral candidate Mary DeCamp. Instead of mentioning the usual list of organizations who support her, DeCamp provided a copy of a letter in which her ex-husband says he supports her candidacy.

In the letter, he says he's known her for more than 30 years and would make a good leader for Tucson, and it's dated July 1, 2011, showing he supported her through her primary campaign, too.

"She has the energy of two teenagers. She is able to get things done quickly, efficiently, ethically, and accurately," he wrote.

Jonathan Rothschild Mary DeCamp Rick Grinnell Tucson mayor,


The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission voted 3-1, with one member abstaining, on the latest version of a congressional district map. It now goes to public hearings for 30 days.

The map adds a ninth congressional district, based on the state's population growth in the last decade. That ninth district will largely encompass a population around Phoenix.

A key feature of the map is that two districts, from Tucson's west side to the southwestern corner of the state and a second from west Phoenix to the Maricopa County western line with La Paz County, remain intact as majority-minority districts.

That could help satisfy dictates of the U.S. Justice Department and the Voting Rights Act.

Republican Commissioner Richard Stertz voted against the proposed map, saying he had not been given enough time to study the numbers. Republican Commissioner Scott Freeman abstained. Democrats Linda McNulty and Jose Herrera and independent Colleen Mathis voted for it.

redistricting Voting Rights Act,


A Maricopa County Superior Court judge said today Jerry Lewis and Olivia Cortes will both appear on the ballot to run against Senate President Russell Pearce in his recall election.

The ruling came after a challenge to Cortes’ candidacy, in which Pearce critics said she was a sham candidate, only on the ballot to split the anti-Pearce vote and allow him to retain his seat.

Maricopa County Judge Edward Burke said in his ruling early voting is already underway, and voters should decide whether Cortes deserves the seat.

The lawsuit claimed Pearce supporters recruited Cortes, and while the judge agreed that was likely the case, he says Cortes has done nothing wrong.

Cortes Pearce recall,


News that Arizona will be the setting for a Republican candidates' presidential debate later this year has set off the political handicapping and back-and-forth.

Arizona Illustrated: Roundtable tonight features a bit of the discussion, with Republican former legislator Jonathan Paton and Democratic strategist Rodd McLeod clashing on the dynamics of the race.

Paton started by saying that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's stance on immigration -- specifically, giving in-state tuition to children in Texas illegally -- hurts him among Arizona Republicans.

McLeod says that when it comes to who will emerge on top of the GOP heap in the state, "Republicans are all over the map." He called Romney the favorite in Arizona , but added that he has had to fend off first Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann and then Perry.

"There's a big void in the GOP," McLeod said. "Mitt's can't get above the mid 20s in the polls. There's tremendous dissatisfaction."

Paton quickly countered that, "the void is going to be filled when the primary is over," because Republicans in Arizona and nationally are united in opposition to Democratic President Obama.

More on Arizona Illustrated: Roundtable at 6:30 MST on PBS-HD-6.

Arizona Republican Presidential Debate Michele Bachmann Mitt Romney President Obama Rick Perry,

About Political Buzz

News, commentary, analysis from the AZPM political team: Christopher Conover, Andrea Kelly, Michael Chihak.