Sylvia Lee appointed to Pima County Board of Supervisors

Sylvia Lee can be representing District 3 on the Pima County Board of Supervisors by way of the tip of 2024.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 on Tuesday to nominate Lee to the seat left vacant by Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, a Democrat who had represented the district — which stretches from Midtown by way of elements of the West Aspect out to Ajo — since she was first elected in 1996. Bronson retired final month resulting from medical points.

Lee’s first scheduled assembly as the most recent supervisor can be Jan. 9, 2024.

Lee, who served on the Pima Group Faculty board from 2013 to 2018 and as a president and dean for the school from 1996 to 2011, mentioned she was “extremely honored” to be changing Bronson, including that she had “huge footwear to fill.”

She mentioned she had utilized for the job as a result of she “beloved serving Pima Group Faculty on the board.”

“Service is in my blood,” she added, saying that her mom labored as a Pima County Well being Division nurse for greater than 4 a long time and her nice aunt, Theresa Lee, is the namesake of a county well being clinic due to her advocacy on behalf of well being providers for the working poor.

Lee mentioned her prime priorities included working to reopen the border crossing within the city of Lukeville, which the Biden administration closed on Dec. 4 in order that personnel might be reassigned to deal with an enormous inflow of asylum seekers alongside the Arizona border. The closure has led to rising financial issues and frustration on either side of the border as a result of Lukeville is a key entry into Mexico for these touring to the beachside vacationer city of Puerto Peñasco, also called Rocky Level, in addition to these touring into the USA for work in Lukeville and Ajo.

She mentioned she was additionally involved that federal {dollars} to assist asylum-seeking migrants launched from Border Patrol custody whereas they transition to different communities was operating dry.

Earlier than Lee’s appointment, Board Chair Adelita Grijalva, a Democrat representing District 5, moved to nominate April Ignacio, a Tohono O’odham political activist, and Jennifer Allen, a former government director of the Arizona ACLU and a founding father of the Border Motion Community, however every failed on a 2-2 vote, with Scott and Republican Steve Christy voting in opposition.

Supervisor Matt Heinz, a Democrat who represents District 2, nominated Kristen Randall, a Inexperienced Valley Justice court docket administrator and former elected Pima County constable, however that movement died for lack of a second.

Scott then nominated Lee, saying she advised him she wouldn’t be looking for election to the seat in 2024, a key situation of Scott’s vote. Scott mentioned he didn’t need any look of favoritism on behalf of a future candidate.

“There can be folks in the neighborhood who imagine we would like that individual to be elected as a District 3 supervisor,” the District 1 Democrat mentioned. “My desire is to nominate somebody who has mentioned that they are going to serve out the steadiness of supervisor Bronson’s time period and won’t search a time period in their very own proper.”

Christy voted towards appointing Lee, persevering with his sample of not voting in favor of any Democratic appointments. State legislation required that the retired Democrat Bronson get replaced by somebody of the identical get together.

Board Clerk Melissa Manriquez was allowed to take part within the collection of a alternative beneath state legislation. She broke the 2-2 ties with “no” votes, resulting in the decide of an appointee with out her vote being required.

District 3 contains a lot of central and western Tucson and stretches south to Sahuarita and west throughout the Tohono O’odham Nation to Ajo.

Bronson, 77, introduced she would step down on Nov. 13 after tripping over her cat and spending a number of days within the hospital. Her final day in workplace was Nov. 27.

The opposite candidates who sought the seat included:

  • Brian Johnson, former Pima County Assessor’s Workplace staffer who has twice run in Democratic primaries to be the elected assessor
  • Joe Machado, former Nogales metropolis legal professional
  • Matt Kopec, a member of Amphitheater Public Faculties Governing Board and a former state lawmaker
  • Edgar Soto, vice chairman of Pima Group Faculty’s Desert Vista Campus

Following the assembly, Randall mentioned she wouldn’t be looking for the workplace in 2024.

Kopec and Soto had joined Lee is stating that they’d not search election subsequent yr.

Allen and Ignacio have each filed statements of curiosity in operating for the seat as Democrats, as has Democrat Kathryn Mikronis, a member of the Marana Faculty District Governing Board. Mikronis didn’t search the year-long appointment.

Republican Janet “JL” Wittenbraker, who misplaced the 2023 Tucson mayoral race, has introduced plans to hunt the workplace.

Unbiased Iman-Utopia Layjou Bah has filed an announcement of curiosity in operating as an unbiased. 

Former state lawmaker Andrés Cano, a protege of former Supervisor
Richard Elías who labored in his District 5 workplace for years, advised the Sentinel he could run in
the first.

Bronson, first elected in a 1996 three-way race that had her ousting
longtime Republican Supervisor Ed Moore in her first run for workplace, had
filed in October to hunt an eighth time period on the board.

She was the longest-serving supervisor in Pima County historical past,
the third girl elected to the board, and in 1999 turned the primary girl
elected as chair by the opposite supervisors.

Beneath state legislation, the appointed alternative needed to be a member of the
identical political get together as Bronson, so the selection of voters who elected a
Democrat can be revered. They have to even be a registered voter,
literate in English, a resident of District 3 and at the least 18 years previous.