Longtime Pima County businessman David Mehl was named Thursday by House Speaker Rusty Bowers to serve on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the first of five commissioners who will redraw the state’s congressional and legislative districts to reflect the results of the 2020 census.
“Over the past week, I met with and interviewed each of the (10) Republican finalists,” Bowers said. “David will bring remarkable experience and leadership to the commission, as well as a profound appreciation for the monumental importance of this duty. I have immense confidence that he will apply the skill and standards that have been a hallmark of his professional success so that he will fulfill this crucial constitutional responsibility to achieve a fair result that reflects our great state.”
Mehl owns Cottonwood Properties, Inc., a Tucson-based company involved in development of residential and commercial properties including The Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain and the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1972 and has lived in Arizona since 1975 after earning a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois.
“I am honored to be selected by Speaker Bowers to serve on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission,” said Mehl, who noted on his application that he never had an interest in holding public office, “but the chance to serve Arizona by being on the redistricting commission is of interest to me.”
Under the Arizona Constitution, the five-member redistricting commission can include up to two registered Democrats and two registered Republicans, all of whom are appointed by the leadership of the state legislature. And no more than two of the four can be from the same county.
The next commissioner will be selected within the next week by Charlene Fernandez, D-Yuma, who is the House Minority Leader. The third selection will then be announced by Karen Fann, R-Prescott, who is the Senate President. The fourth pick belongs to David Bradley, D-Tucson, as the Senate Minority Leader.
Once the four commissioners are announced they will select the fifth member who will serve as commission chairperson. The fifth member cannot be registered with either of the two major political parties but there is no restriction on residency.
The five commissioners will start from scratch next year to establish district boundaries for the existing nine Congressional districts and 30 legislative districts. The work will be especially critical as Arizona could gain an additional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives if census results match up with preliminary population estimates.
“I look forward to the important work ahead and pledge to carry out my responsibilities as a member of the commission with integrity and fairness for the good of all Arizonans,” said Mehl.