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Redistricting commission shows signs of friction

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Colleen Coyle Mathis, left, and Vice Chair Jose M. Herrera listen in during discussions Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 in Tempe. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona’s redistricting commission is showing signs of friction as it struggles to approve final congressional and legislative districts, with Republicans complaining that their proposals are being ignored or buried.

The commission defeated Republican commissioner Rick Stertz’s motion to approve altered versions of draft maps and not bother considering further changes.

Republican Scott Freeman seconded Stertz’s motion and spoke in favor but ended up voting against it along with the one Democrat in attendance Monday.

Democrat Jose Herrera and independent Colleen Mathis called Stertz’s motion premature and said the commission needs to do further work before it approves final maps.

Stertz later said he takes comfort from the outcome. He says defeat of his motion indicates the commission is willing to consider making more changes to the draft maps.

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