Legislative Democrats' Statement on Arizona IRC Choosing Republican Operative Brian Schmitt as Execu
PHOENIX– Arizona Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios and House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding released the following statement today after the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission selected Republican operative Brian Schmitt as the Executive Director.
“It's deeply dismaying that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission voted 3-2 to offer the critical role of Executive Director to Brian Schmitt, a Republican operative who failed to disclose to the commission recent, relevant and partisan campaign work. Schmitt’s name is linked to a 2020 campaign disbursement from Martha McSally for Congress in the amount of $63,652.44, made three days after the November election, as well as disbursements from the Republican National Committee in 2020 and 2018. This type of campaign work, and the candidate's decision to initially withhold that critical information from his application, should have been immediately disqualifying.
Schmitt, chief of staff to Republican Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring, tried to downplay this five-figure payment from McSally by saying, ‘a friend called and asked me to help with logistics, that was my only involvement.’ Such a large payment for something as minor as 'logistics' for a Republican candidate is alarming and needs to be independently investigated. The Independent Redistricting Commission must be seen as exactly that --independent. This selection – the first in the Commission's history where the selection was not unanimous -- risks losing the public’s confidence and trust in the Commission to redraw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts fairly and transparently. The Commission's work is too important to every Arizonan to take this risk."