Clean Elections Commissioner Laird takes office, Commissioner Daniels resigns

PHOENIX — Mitchell Laird has joined the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, filling the seat vacated by Jeffery Fairman, whose term had expired.

Laird attended his first Commission meeting this morning. Laird, a Republican from Maricopa County, was appointed to a five-year term by Gov. Jan Brewer. He is a successful business owner and an attorney with more than 30 years of experience practicing law.

As one vacant seat was filled, another became open. The Commission announced this morning that Commissioner Lori Daniels resigned shortly before her term was to expire. A search for Daniels’ replacement is underway.

Daniels, a Republican from Maricopa County, was appointed in 2008 to serve a five-year term by then-Secretary of State Brewer.

“The Commission and staff appreciate the hard work and time Lori Daniels has provided over the past five years,” said Chair Louis Hoffman. “While we’re sorry to see Lori go, we are happy to welcome Mitchell Laird to the Commission. We look forward to his contributions in the coming years.”

Anyone interested in Daniels’ seat can apply to the Office of Boards and Commissions.

The law governing the Citizens Clean Elections Commission requires that “no more than two members of the commission shall be members of the same political party. No more than two members of the commission shall be residents of the same county.”

Because of the makeup of the Commission, the person replacing Daniels will have to reside in a county other than Maricopa or Pima, and cannot be a Republican.

Since Gov. Brewer made the most recent appointment, the next selection to the Commission is required by law to be made by the highest elected Democrat. Senate Minority Leader Leah Landrum Taylor is the highest elected Democrat in Arizona and has the responsibility to make that appointment.

The Citizens Clean Elections Act, which was passed by voters in 1998, created a new campaign financing system that provides full public funding to qualified candidates who agree to abide by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission guidelines. Candidates for statewide and legislative offices are eligible to participate in the public funding program.

To qualify for funding, participating candidates gather $5 qualifying contributions from constituents who are registered voters. Participating candidates also adhere to strict spending and contribution limits and agree to attend required workshops and debates.

For more information, visit the Citizens Clean Elections Commission website at azcleanelections.gov.

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