The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors filled the vacancy in the state House of Representatives after appointing Quantá Crews to represent Legislative District 26.
The board appointed Crews Monday following a recommendation from county Supervisor Steve Gallardo. Gallardo represents the area that encompasses LD26 for the county and his recommendation was unanimously approved by the board.
“I look forward to working with the Legislature and Gov. Katie Hobbs and her staff to move Arizona forward. Because that’s what we’re here to do – is work for the people,” Crews said after she was appointed.
On May 12, LD26 Precinct Committeemen chose three candidates that the board considered — Crews, former state Rep. Christian Solorio and the committee’s treasurer Veronica Monge.
Crews, the committee’s second vice-chair, was also one of the candidates for the LD26 Senate vacancy. Former Senate Minority Leader Raquel Terán resigned from the seat in April to focus on a Congressional campaign and Sen. Flavio Bravo, D-Phoenix, moved from the House to serve in the Senate.
When Bravo was appointed to the Senate, Gallardo said he hoped that Crews would emerge as a candidate for Bravo’s House seat.
“These are never easy choices,” Gallardo said Monday. “This particular case, and in most cases, you have three well-qualified candidates but we’re in a position to have to choose one.”
Gallardo voted against appointing Rep. Julie Willoughby, R-Chandler, to fill expelled Rep. Liz Harris’s seat in a LD13 House vacancy earlier in the session. He said he couldn’t choose any of the three candidates LD 13 Republicans nominated, including Harris, because none of them expressed confidence in the 2022 and 2020 elections.
He didn’t have that same issue with the LD26 candidates. Gallardo said he spoke to the three candidates about the continuation of a county sales tax that funds transit projects – Prop 400, as well as state elections and county water issues, including the Rio Verde Foothills crisis.
Another factor in Gallardo’s recommendation was Crews’ work history. Crews has background in real estate appraisal and spent four years working as a real and personal property appraiser for the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office, according to her LinkedIn account. He also said Crews brings more diversity to the Legislature, which he feels is currently lacking.
“(Crews) has a thumb on the critical issues facing Legislative District 26 and the state of Arizona. I think she will bring great leadership to the state Legislature,” Gallardo said.
Chairman of the board Clint Hickman commended Crews for attending the board’s meeting both on Monday and when Bravo was appointed to the Senate. None of the LD13 candidates were at the meeting when Willoughby was appointed in May.
“It’s difficult. You don’t know if you’re going to get picked but here you were,” Hickman said to Crews.
When Crews was nominated for the House vacancy by LD26 Precinct Committeemen on May 12, she told PCs that housing and education would be her two primary focuses as a legislator. She said she was motivated to serve in the Legislature after she was shaken up by the Covid pandemic and the increases of rental prices that her community saw.
“It really was that. It was seeing the things that me and my neighbors and my community members were facing, and they weren’t really being lifted up by some people who had power,” Crews said on May 12. “I think that power is important. You need to be responsible with it.”
Crews, a mother of three, ran for a seat on the Phoenix Elementary School District Governing Board in 2020 but wasn’t elected. She’s also an executive board member of the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Assessing Officers and an associate minister of the Tanner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Phoenix.
There hasn’t been a swearing-in ceremony for Crews yet, but her appointment brings the House back to its full 60 members a week before the Legislature reconvenes on June 12. Arizona House Democrats tweeted to “stay tuned” when Crews will be sworn in.
“Representative Crews joins the Democratic Caucus at a critical time. She is a strong and well-prepared advocate for our shared Democratic values at a moment when MAGA Republicans consistently demonstrate how out of touch they are with everyday Arizonans,” House Minority Leader House Andrés Cano said in a Monday afternoon news release. “While the GOP advances election conspiracy theories, attacks reproductive rights and foments hate against our LGBTQ+ communities, Representative Crews will prioritize equal rights and a strong economy for the people of District 26. Together we’ll work to fully fund our public schools, increase affordable housing and secure our state’s water future.”