Sahuarita Democrat Rep. Andrea Dalessandro will fill the vacancy in the state Senate left by Linda Lopez’s resignation.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint Dalessandro Tuesday, praising her hard work in the House of Representatives.

Lopez resigned the District 2 Senate seat earlier this month, citing conflicts with a new job.

Dalessandro was selected over two other candidates nominated by District 2 Democratic Party officials this weekend, Demion Clinco,  the president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation; and Annabelle Nuñez, an associate librarian at the Arizona Health Sciences Library at the University of Arizona.

Supervisor Richard Elías  said Delassandro’s experience in the Legislature made her stand out among the three candidates.

“We had three great candidates, all of them were really outstanding and could have filled in the job but I think Andrea stood above the rest because of her experience in the Legislature,” Elías said.

Dalessandro, 66, has been serving in the House since 2013.

She did not attend the Tuesday morning meeting, but said later she was happy with the decision.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected unanimously for this opportunity by the Pima County Board of Supervisors,” said Dalessandro.

Elías said Dalessandro told him she planned to run for the Senate regardless what the supervisors decided.

“She told me last week that if she received the appointment she was going to run and if she didn’t receive the appointment she was going to run,” Elías said.

Today’s decision by the board sets up a virtually identical process they used to replace Lopez.

Once Dalessandro submits her resignation, Legislative District 2 leaders will need to meet to decide on three candidates to recommend to the Board of Supervisors.

The board is next scheduled to meet the first week of February.

“I will continue to work hard for the people of Legislative District 2 and look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues in the Senate.”

Senate Democratic Leader Anna Tovar said, “Rep. Dalessandro has represented her constituents extremely well both here at the Capitol and in her district by holding forums on Medicaid expansion and protecting senior citizens from scams.”

“Andrea will be a welcome addition to the Senate Democratic Caucus as we continue our work to improve our schools, protect Arizona’s vulnerable children and encourage economic growth for our state.”

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson.