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Two Democrats May Vie for Open LD-7 State Senate Seat


UPDATE: According to the U.S. State Department, former State Senator Jack Jackson, Jr. is not running for state senate in Legislative District 7.

So far, only one candidate has officially announced her senate run for the state’s largest legislative district, LD-7. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Democrat and former state representative Jamescita Peshlakai announced two weeks ago she would run for state senate. Peshlakai served in the Persian Gulf War and is currently the veterans’ liaison for the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President.

Former Democratic State Senator Jack Jackson, Jr. may also be considering a bid. Records from the secretary of state’s office show he’s formed a political committee to run for the LD-7 senate seat. Jackson works for the U.S. State Department as a liaison to Native American tribes on environmental issues. He hasn’t officially announced his candidacy.

LD-7, which is mostly rural, spans seven counties in northern and eastern Arizona. It represents eight Native American tribes including the Navajo, Hopi, Hualapai and Havasupai.

The race will fill a vacancy created by Republican senator Carlyle Begay’s run for Arizona’s First Congressional District.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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