Arizona Democratic Party Requests Investigation of Redistricting, Claims It Protects Incumbent GOP State Senators

The Arizona Democratic Party submitted a complaint on Monday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, asking him to investigate whether a couple of members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) violated the Arizona Constitution by drawing district boundary lines to protect at least three incumbent Republican state senators. Executive Director Charlie Fisher, who signed the letter, also asked the attorney general’s office (AGO)to determine if the members violated Arizona’s Open Meeting law, and whether members, as well as senators and their staff, improperly used state resources and funds.

The moves may have been done to include significant Republican enclaves in heavily Republican districts, not to just grab a single senator’s residence. State Senator Vince Leach (R-Tucson), one of the senators who was accused of being gerrymandered into a heavily Republican district, explained to The Arizona Sun Times about the area he lives in that was included, “Catalina has always been in LD 11. Since the election of 2012.”

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Newly Redrawn Congressional and Legislative Districts in Arizona Favor GOP Now, But May Not in the Future: Schweikert

David Schweikert

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has mostly finalized its 10-year maps redrawing congressional and legislative districts in the state, and the results appear mixed for Republicans. While they appear to shift more districts in favor of Republicans, the advantage in some of those districts is so slim that in future years when the country’s mood shifts back against Republicans, several of those districts will be easier for the Democrats to capture, making it possible for the Democrats to take back the Arizona Legislature.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-Ariz.), whose district will become the most competitive after the redistricting, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The results are a mixed bag. While superficially it looks better for the GOP, in five of the districts there is such a small Republican advantage that we stand a good chance of losing all five of those seats to the Democrats in 2026 — and if we don’t take the White House back in 2024, we could lose them as soon as that year.”

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Independent Redistricting Chair Sides with Democrats in First Round of Arizona’s Legislative Maps

Commission Chair Erika Schupak Neuberg

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) elected to begin final debate on a set of congressional maps that are favored by Democrats.

The decision was made when independent Commission Chair Erika Schupak Neuberg sided with two Democrats to override the two-vote GOP minority.

The commission was established in November 2000, when voters in the state passed Proposition 106, a citizen initiative that amended the Arizona Constitution by removing the power to draw congressional and state legislative districts from the state legislature and reassigning this task to the IRC.

The vote that Neuberg decided created a starting point for the discussion of the final boundaries. The committee will continue to debate through multiple meetings on December 21 and 22nd.

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Proposed Draft Maps for Redistricting in Arizona a Mixed Bag, Slightly Favor Democrats

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has been working on the maps updating where Arizona’s congressional districts are drawn to reflect changing demographics, something which takes place once every 10 years. They approved draft maps this week, which makes more congressional districts competitive, but it’s tough to predict how those races could go due to demographics changing in the future — zoning rules can easily tip a district. The legislative districts are also being redrawn, and while they make Republican seats safer, they also create two swing seats that could allow the Democrats to take control of the legislature. 

Under the congressional plan, four of the nine districts would be considered competitive, with two of them genuine toss-ups. The other districts would be three safe Republican seats and two safe Democrat seats. The two highly competitive districts include the newly labeled CD6, which contains much of southern Arizona south of Phoenix. A significant portion of that district is currently represented by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who is retiring. Its Democratic advantage will be just 1.9 percent. The other one is the newly labeled CD1, which includes Scottsdale and much of Phoenix. It is currently represented by Republican David Schweikert and Democrat Greg Stanton. Its Democratic advantage will be just 1.6 percent. 

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