PHOENIX - Who should nominate candidates for the U.S. Senate? The people or the state legislature? A proposal in the state house would give voters the option to shift the power to elected state officials.
If the change was made, legislators from both parties would put up two candidates for the nomination for each open U.S. Senate seat. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Travis Grantham, says it would give back local control to help the Senate be a check on the House.
"I tell people all the time, try to get an appointment with your U.S. Senator on an issue or try your local representative and see which one happens quick, if it happens at all. I'll bet every time you're able to meet your local elected representative," said Grantham.
The proposal cleared its final House committee this week 6 to 3 with all Democrats voting no. They say it takes away voter control.
"If it gets any further and if it gains traction, what Republicans are telling Arizonans is that they don't value their voice," said Drew Anderson of the Arizona Democratic Party.
Democrats also say it indicates a deeper problem in a Republican-controlled state.
"There is a deep rift within the Arizona Republican party, it's a civil war that isn't just within the Senate race, it's happening up and down the ticket," added Anderson.
But Grantham says it comes down to accountability.
"Every six years, we'd be able to hold our senators accountable and bring them in front of us," he said.
HB 2022: U.S. Senate candidates; legislative nomination
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