Senate President Russell Pearce picked Pima County Republican Richard Stertz to serve as the third member of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
Stertz, who runs a faith-based organization geared toward getting churches more involved in the community, won out over Benny White, another Tucson Republican. The commission is charged with redrawing political boundaries using new census figures.
Stertz, who had some late taxes and some earlier civil litigation that was not disclosed on his application, was placed into the mix after Pearce and House Speaker Kirk Adams challenged some members of the initial selection.
“The fact that I was able to select Mr. Stertz is also a direct result of our court challenge. This was a critical issue in law to allow real choice for the IRC. The law is clear and having real choices is critical for Arizona and the process,” Pearce said in a statement announcing the selection.
He also called Stertz “fair-minded and steadfast” and predicted he would serve the commission well.
The fourth pick now rests with Senate Minority Leader David Schapira.
The four commissioners then will select a fifth, presumably an independent.