Democratic Gains In Arizona Make Legislature More Representative

Democratic gains in Arizona’s state legislature are starting to transform what was once a hotbed of misguided and extreme right-wing activism into one that better represents an increasingly diverse state.

Democratic gains will force Republicans to the negotiating table.

Democrats won more seats in Arizona House than they have since 1966. Here’s how that changes the state

“On Jan. 14, the next group of state lawmakers will be sworn into office. It will be unlike any state Legislature in decades because members will be closely split along partisan lines… Republicans will have a 31–29 majority in the House. That’s the closest divide since Democrats last controlled the chamber in 1966, before a landmark court ruling redrew districts based on population. It means that Republicans can’t lose a single legislator’s vote to create laws on a party-line vote.”

A diverse class of new Democratic lawmakers will make the legislature will more representative of Arizona.

Sinema, Yee are firsts; but does Arizona’s legislature look like the state?

“‘Next session will have the ‘most diverse delegation of House and Senate Democrats’ in terms of race and gender’, said Charlie Fisher, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.”

A younger legislature will be more representative of Arizona.

How will a new crop of millennials shape what happens in the Arizona House?

“But this new, younger crop of legislators continues to inch down the median age in the House — by my calculation, it’s now 50.5 — and that could change things.”

But challenges remain, including a Republican state House speaker who doesn’t believe in equality.

Arizona’s new state House Speaker doesn’t believe LGBTQ people are equal under the law

“Bowers is in his second stint in state government […] Over that time, one thing has been constant: he does not believe LGBTQ people deserve equal treatment under the law.”