Legislative leader selects 4th member of redistricting panel

PHOENIX (AP) — A Democratic legislative leader on Thursday announced his selection of an Apache County man as the fourth appointment to the Arizona panel that will draw new congressional and legislative districts for use in elections in the coming decade.

Derrick Watchman, Senate Minority Leader David Bradley’s selection for the Independent Redistricting Commission, heads an acquisition and development advisory firm based in Window Rock and is a former chief executive of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise.

A statement announcing Watchman’s appointment said that Watchman, as a member of the Navajo Nation, “is an important and essential addition to a commission where Indigenous perspectives and values have not been adequately represented.”

The top House Republican and Democratic leaders, and the top Senate Republican leader previously made one appointment each to the IRC, selecting from nominees forwarded by a state screening panel.

The four legislative leaders’ appointees — two Republicans and two Democrats— will pick one of five independents nominated by the screening panel to serve as the commission’s fifth member and chair.

The other legislative leaders’ appointees are Republicans David Mehl of Pima County and Douglas York of Maricopa County, and Democrat Shereen Lerner of Maricopa County.