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4/17/2011 5:59:00 AM
Rural areas seek more clout via redistricting
Matt Capalby
Matt Capalby

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A Flagstaff public policy consultant is attempting to gather support to push the Arizona Redistricting Commission for more rural voting districts.

Matt Capalby, the managing partner of the Agassiz Group in Flagstaff, told the Republican Forum Wednesday evening that he was approached by a group of business owners, known as the Flagstaff 40, six weeks ago. The business owners were concerned that the redistricting commission would put most of the new voting districts in major metropolitan areas such a Phoenix or Tucson and leave rural communities and counties with huge districts and very little representation, he said. That is what happened in 2000, when a group supporting the major metropolitan areas basically presented a map to the commission and it was approved.

Reinforcing the concern was the fact that all five members of the redistricting commission were from Maricopa or Pima counties, he said.

After hearing the same concern voiced again and again at association meetings and conventions around the state, Capalby said he and a handful of others formed a group called Greater Arizona Success.

The idea behind the organization is to present a unified, bipartisan front and request that rural communities get equal representation in the Legislature and Congress, he said.

"We want a plan that is most beneficial for all of Arizona," he said. Many rural communities and county governments are tired of being dictated to or forced to live under laws that were designed for Phoenix and Tucson.

The organization already has access to a computer program designed by George Mason University that can be used to map out districts, Capalby said.

If the rural communities, businesses and governments can put together a map of how they would liked to see the voting districts drawn, and get it before the commission, they might have a chance.

"We want them to work off of our map," he said.

Many of the forum members wanted to know how many Republicans were involved in the group. Capalby the group was a bipartisan mix of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, business owners and citizens. He pointed out that it was not about Democrat v. Republican, but rural v. urban.

The organization is currently working on a website. For more information, contact Capalby at (928) 814-2789 or

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Related Stories:
• Mohave County seeks input on new voting districts
• Gould says future dim for redistricting law

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Article comment by: Matthew Capalby

Thank you Dean. I appreciate the positive comments. We all need to be attentive and involved as this process begins.

Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Article comment by: Dean Wolslagel

We should all keep a close eye on the redistricting process to prevent the old problem of power brokers controlling your vote. Mohave county has many others who are not of the current ruling party and they need thier voices heard as well all elections. Good job Matt !

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