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Junelle Cavero Harnel
Junelle Cavero Harnel (Photo: Cavero for AZ)

Maricopa Fills Yet Another Vacated Dem House Seat

Harnal is the sixth vacancy since the 2022 election

By The Center Square, April 18, 2024 12:40 pm

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appointed Junelle Cavero Harnal (D-11) to represent Legislative District 11 in the Arizona House of Representatives following the resignation of former Rep. Marcelino Quiñonez, which could change the dynamics of the chamber on abortion policy for Wednesday’s floor session. This is the sixth replacement made to the House this session, as numerous Democrats have resigned for various reasons.

“As I step into the role of representing Legislative District 11, I am deeply honored to accept this responsibility,” Cavero Harnal said in a statement on Tuesday. “In a time that calls for unwavering commitment to our communities, I am dedicated to being a tireless champion for reproductive justice, affordable housing, and the economic issues affecting everyday Arizonans. I pledge to work night and day to serve and uplift the voices of working families and our communities.”

House Minority Leader Lupe Contreras touted the future lawmaker’s background as a business owner and expressed a sense of urgency.

“Representative Cavero brings a wealth of business experience and political savvy to our Caucus, and we look forward to her joining our Caucus as soon as possible. We have no doubts she will hit the ground running as budget negotiations heat up and we take other significant votes for our state’s future,” Contreras stated.

Cavero Harnal’s appointment comes at a critical time for the legislature as they navigate the best path forward following a 4-2 state Supreme Court ruling in favor of an 1864 abortion law that only allows the procedure in the event of a mother’s life at risk, regardless of weeks into the pregnancy.

There is expected to be an attempt again by lawmakers to get the law repealed before it takes effect, which was unsuccessful last week, The Center Square reported. Many Democrats and a handful of Republicans are publicly in support of repealing the law. Upon her swearing-in, the Democratic caucus will be back to its full 29 members, which could give them the numbers they need to keep the ball rolling on a possible repeal if a couple of the 31 Republicans join in.

Budget negotiations have resulted in a once-a-week meeting schedule for the remainder of the session, making the process seemingly drawn out.

However, many Republicans in favor of the 1864 law are weighing a variety of options, including possible ballot measures to counter the proposed constitutional amendment backed by Democrats to allow abortion up to “fetal viability,” according to Axios.

Cathi Herrod, president of the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy, encouraged lawmakers to not vote in support of a repeal.

“I call on state legislators who told voters in 2022 that they opposed abortion unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother to stand by their convictions and refuse to repeal the pre-Roe law now that it has been upheld,” Herrod stated.

“Candidates who publicly supported the law that was in effect in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided should stand by their word as lawmakers and vote no on any proposed repeal,” she added.

Cameron Arcand/The Center Square

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