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Arizona lawmaker quits to focus on run for governor

September 20, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Rep. Aaron Lieberman has become the second Democratic lawmaker to leave office to focus on a run for higher office.

Lieberman announced Monday that he’s immediately resigning from the House so he can devote himself fulltime to his campaign for governor. The second-term lawmaker from Paradise Valley represents one of the most competitive legislative districts in the state.

Lieberman faces a tough Democratic primary for governor against Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and businessman Marco Lopez.

The Legislature is not scheduled to be in session until January. When they return to the Capitol, lawmakers will find an unusually large number of new colleagues for a session that doesn’t follow an election.

In addition to Lieberman, there are or will soon be two other vacancies in the House after Republican Rep. Bret Roberts announced plans to quit for personal reasons and Democratic Rep. Raquel Teran was elevated to the Senate to replace a senator charged with sex crimes.

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In the Senate, Democrat Kirsten Engel of Tucson has announced plans to resign at the end of the month so she can focus on her campaign for the U.S. House. With several other lawmakers running for higher office, more resignations are possible before the end of the year.

Democratic precinct committeemen from Legislative District 28 will nominate three potential replacements, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will choose a winner. Lieberman’s replacement must be a Democrat.