Gov. Jan Brewer might still seek the removal of the two Democratic members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
Matthew Benson, a spokesman for the governor, said Brewer still has concerns about the actions of Democratic commissioners Jose Herrera and Linda McNulty, whom he said committed misconduct in coordination with ousted Chairwoman Colleen Mathis. He said “there is nothing imminent” to remove the two Democrats, but the governor will watch the process as it moves forward and will move against them if she believes they’re acting unconstitutionally.
“If, going forward, it appears these commissioners are acting in a way not in accordance with the law and the constitution, then the governor will pursue a remedy,” Benson said. “You’d have to have some additional incident that rose to a significant level to bring this back on the table. But we’ll be watching.”
Brewer wanted to remove Herrera and McNulty during the Nov. 1 special session where Mathis, the IRC’s independent member, was impeached on a 21-6 vote in the Senate. Benson said Brewer didn’t have the 20 votes she needed in the Senate to remove all three.
“The governor would have preferred to have removed all three from the commission, but that was not possible at the time. But she’ll be watching the process closely from here forward,” he said.
Herrera said he views Brewer’s position as a threat intended to bully he and McNulty into drawing maps that are more favorable to Republicans.
“The commission was created by the voters exactly to avoid this type of political jockeying. Further, attempts to remove the two Democrats on the commission will only add to the costs, litigation and stalling of the mapping process. But maybe that is exactly their intention. The citizens of Arizona deserve better,” he said in an email to the Arizona Capitol Times.