The Democratic congressman who just won the Senate primary resigns

PHOENIX (AP) — A Democratic member of the state House of Representatives who just won his primary for the state Senate announced Friday that he is resigning, leaving no one on the ballot in his district of southwest of Phoenix.

Diego Espinoza defeated fellow House member Richard Andrade in the August primary for the District 22 Senate seat. The heavily Democratic district covers parts of Glendale and Phoenix, Avondale and Tolleson and drew no republican.

Espinoza said he took a job with the Salt River Project in community and government relations. He owns a restaurant in Tolleson and served four terms in the House.

The unexpected resignation means that a written nomination is the only option to fill the seat until the election.

Andrade said he heard during the primary that Espinoza was considering taking the job and said he was “very disappointed” to learn he had quit.

“He wasn’t loyal to voters, knowing he was going to do this,” he said. “It shows that this is not the kind of leadership we need, where you have tricked voters into thinking you are working for your community when in reality you are working for your own interest.”

Andrade said he was considering his options and had not decided whether he would mount a print campaign.

Although the legislature is not in session, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will appoint a temporary replacement to serve the remainder of Espinoza’s term, which ends in early January when the new legislature is sworn in. By law, that person must be a Democrat. .

Before running for his House seat, Espinoza served 14 years on the Tolleson City Council. Andrade is a locomotive engineer.

Both were first elected in 2014 and were forced by term limits to leave the House.

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