Two Tucson lawmakers are seeking federal jobs

If successful, Farley, Saldate would have to quit Legislature
2013-03-01T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T13:13:25Z Two Tucson lawmakers are seeking federal jobsBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Two members of Tucson's delegation at the Legislature are applying for jobs that would require them to resign if they're hired.

State Sen. Steve Farley is applying for an administration job with the U.S. Transportation Department, and state Rep. Macario Saldate is applying for a deputy director's job at the U.S. Interior Department.

Both are Democrats, and both say they were invited to apply and weren't job hunting when they ran for election to two-year terms.

The potential vacancies were first reported by the Yellow Sheet Report, a Phoenix politics newspaper.

Farley said it will be months before he knows whether he'll get the job, and the competition is intense. He said he first got into politics by trying to improve the transportation system.

"I am focused on serving my constituents in the state Senate right now," he said, "and the only way I would take a job like that is if I had a chance to serve them at a higher level, and this sounds like it is."

Saldate said he was asked by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials to apply for a deputy director's job at the National Park Service or Bureau of Land Management.

Saldate, who was an education professor before entering politics, said he is surprised and humbled that he is being considered.

Working in Washington, D.C., has always been an interest, he said, but, "I'm not in a hurry to leave my responsibility in District 3."

"It would have to be something quite good before I would leave that responsibility, because I feel an obligation to District 3 and I love my work," Saldate said.

If Farley or Saldate were to resign, a fast-paced process to replace them would begin.

The elected precinct committeemen in the district would have five days to choose three candidates who are Democrats and who live in the district.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors then would appoint one of the three candidates to fill the term at the Legislature.

Last year when Daniel Patterson resigned as representative of Tucson's south-side Legislative District 29, it took just 12 days for the supervisors to appoint Nicholas Fontana to replace him. His term ended in January.

Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Don Jorgensen said the party is identifying qualified candidates and thinks the districts would be well-represented if Farley or Saldate were to resign.

Both are "tremendously qualified" for the positions they're seeking and he'd be happy to see them further their careers after working hard for Arizona for years, Jorgensen said.

Farley represents District 9, which includes the Tucson area north of Speedway and east of Craycroft Road, the Catalina Foothills and Casas Adobes areas, and the Flowing Wells area.

Saldate represents District 3, which includes downtown Tucson, the university area, and parts of Tucson's west and south sides.

On StarNet: Go to azstarnet.com/politics to read more about local and state government and political news.

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

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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