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Redistricting commission moves closer to mapping work

(From left to right)

(From left to right) Arizona Independent Redistricting Commissioners Linda McNulty, Colleen Mathis, José Herrera, Scott Freeman and Richard Stertz. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission will publicly interview representatives from six law firms Thursday, and could select their legal counsel directly afterward.

The commission also finalized and posted its request for proposals (RFP) for mapping services this week.

The movement toward filling those key staff positions signals the end of the commission’s preliminary work, enabling the commissioners to actually begin redrawing Arizona’s congressional and legislative boundaries.

During its Tuesday meeting, the commission also heard a presentation from Dave Cole, the solicitor general for the Attorney General’s Office, on how his office could serve as the permanent legal counsel to the commission.

Since the IRC first convened in March, the AG’s office has acted as the group’s interim legal counsel.

But since March, commissioners have expressed concern over the prospect of having an office led by a partisan elected official provide the commission legal advice, as the group is intended to be independent.

Ray Bladine, the commission’s executive director, said the commission could move to select its legal counsel Thursday, directly after the interviews.

The commission screened ten law firms, before narrowing their final list to six.

Law firms to be interviewed Thursday:

Ballard Spahr LLP
David Braun, Attorney at Law
Gammage & Burnham
Mandell Law Firm
Osborne Maledon PA
Rose Law Group

Law firms that submitted responses to the legal counsel RFP, but who were not selected for interviews:

Calderon Law Offices, PLC
Dimilanta Clark LLP
Gordon & Rees LLP
Snell & Wilmer

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