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For week ended January 10, 1999 Posted 22 Jan 1999
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Legislators don't reflect Ariz. diversity

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Legislators don't reflect Ariz. diversity
(Tucson) AZ Daily Star 10Jan99
By Rhonda Bodfield: The Arizona Daily Star

This look at the make-up of the Arizona Legislature compares gender, parties, race, and religion of elected representatives with the general state population. Close to 20 percent of the state lawmakers in Arizona are LDS, 20 percent are Catholic, and the next largest group defined themselves as other Christians. Many others refuse to categorize themselves by religion. Most of the LDS lawmakers are from Maricopa County, mainly from the Mesa area. They include current House Speaker Jeff Groscost, Senate Majority Leader Rusty Bowers, senate minority leader Jack Brown, and U-S Rep. Matt Salmon. The author states that many of the "family value" issues raised in the legislature are supported by the LDS politicians. Senator Tom Freestone says his beliefs do color some of his policies, including his stand against abortion. He credits the high amount of LDS representation to the Church's encouragment for members to be active in politics. He points out that no campaigning takes place on Church grounds.

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