The Democrats on the Pima County Board of Supervisors defeated a move by new Republican Supervisor Ally Miller to appoint conservative talk-radio host Joe Higgins to the Pima County Fair Commission.

The board voted 2-3 along party lines against appointing Higgins, who is also a small-business owner and former unsuccessful candidate for supervisor.

"He's an individual who has contributed a lot to the community and has served on many boards," Miller told the board.

She said she nominated him because of his abilities "to work beyond party lines" and "to make sure things get done," she said.

He also endorsed Miller's election campaign last year.

Higgins said he is disappointed and called the vote "petty politics."

Miller said she too is disappointed with the unusual vote.

All members of the board appoint personal representatives to a wide range of county committees and commissions. Rejection of an individual board member's appointee is rare.

Miller has the power to replace former Supervisor Ann Day's appointees on 26 advisory committees because they serve at the pleasure of the supervisor who appointed them.

Miller already has replaced several appointees, after sending letters thanking Day's appointees for their service, and said more replacements are coming.

She is taking her time with the appointments, she said, choosing people she knows and trusts to do a good job.

The board approved other appointments by Miller, including:

• Joseph Boogaart, who donated $100 to Miller's campaign, and John Sundt to the Bond Advisory Committee.

• Bill Beard to the Election Integrity Commission.

• Shelby Hawkins, who donated $430 to Miller's campaign, and Mark Finchem to the Small Business Commission.

• Jeff Cesare, who donated $430 to Miller's campaign, to the Trial Court Appointments Nominating Committee.

• Karen Cesare, who donated $430 to Miller's campaign, to the Canoa Ranch Committee.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.