[Source: Arizona Republic] — Arizona is the nation’s 6th largest state. It sprawls across more than 110,000 square miles, from the farm fields of Yuma to the desert sands to the Coconino high country. So The Insider thought it interesting that House Democrats chose to represent that vast geographic diversity by picking a leadership team composed of three lawmakers who live so close to each other that they probably frequent the same Starbucks. And that’s saying something.
The incoming team of House Minority Leader David Lujan, Assistant Minority Leader Kyrsten Sinema, and Minority Whip Chad Campbell live in a central Phoenix neighborhood basically bordered by Camelback on the north and Roosevelt on the south, between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street. But Sinema swore that she and the other newly minted Dem leaders would have no trouble keeping the concerns of rural Arizonans close at heart during budget talks and other negotiations.
Why? Well, for one, Sinema noted that she was born and raised in Tucson, and Campbell attended school in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona University. Besides that, the leadership team has agreed to take on one lawmaker from rural Arizona and another from southern Arizona who’ll serve as “close advisers and assistants.” They’ve also already agreed to take a day trip to Tucson later this month to meet with local officials, with a subsequent trip planned to Yuma.
That’s all well and good, but Arizona’s Rural vs. Urban, Maricopa vs. Everyone Else tensions run deep. The Insider bets it won’t take long before a rural Dem wonders aloud if the Central Phoenix Trio knows a latte from a lettuce head.