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Supervisors pick panel to vet county attorney prospects

Maricopa County seal

Maricopa County seal

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors set the process in motion today to replace Bill Montgomery as Maricopa County Attorney by naming its seven-member citizens committee to vet the applicants hoping to be appointed. 

The Board met at first on September 9 to lay out the groundwork, but on Wednesday started making headway with the hopes of naming Montgomery’s temporary successor October 1.

Those interested in applying for the appointment must submit applications by Sept. 18 and the committee will have roughly two weeks to send names to the Board, which can appoint whomever it wants at its own discretion.

The committee includes a couple prominent Republicans like Corporation Commissioner Boyd Dunn and Maricopa GOP Chair Rae Chornenky, and financial backers of Ducey,. Maria Chavira and Judge Chris Skelly, who was named chair of the committee.

Also on the committee is Benjamin Taylor, a criminal defense attorney, Carmen Heredia De la Torre, and Paula Banahan.

There has been a who’s who of Republican attorneys interested in the interim appointment, but only a handful has admitted they are applying.

Acting-County Attorney, Rachel Mitchell, told the Arizona Republic she intends to apply, and former lawmaker, John Kaites, told Yellow Sheet Report he would apply and intends to run in 2020 if he gets picked. Chris DeRose, who was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County last year before losing in the Republican primary, also told Yellow Sheet he is applying, and he plans to run in 2020.

“I opened up a campaign committee to run for county attorney in 2020,” he said.

Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously reported that Chris DeRose was appointed as interim Clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County. DeRose was appointed to the position and not just in an interim basis. 

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