Gov. Brewer threatens impeachment for Arizona redistricting panel

Arizona is gaining one seat in the House due to population growth in the once-per-decade redistricting process.

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The commission released its draft map three weeks ago to the delight of Arizona Democrats and the dismay of Arizona Republicans, who saw some of their safe seats become more competitive and a new district created that seems winnable for Democrats. The map also pitted two Republicans, Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert, in a likely incumbent-on-incumbent showdown.

“Serious and substantive allegations exist regarding the conduct of the Independent Redistricting Commission as part of its critical mission to draw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts," Brewer said in a statement Wednesday.

In a letter to the commissioners, Brewer accused them of "substantial neglect of duty and gross misconduct" in drawing the map. Among her complaints are that commissioners prioritized competitiveness, disregarded natural borders and violated open-meeting laws.

"Her allegations are totally bogus. She has completely distorted what the legal requirements of the commission are," said Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Andy Barr.

Four of the state's Republican members of Congress, including Shweikert and Quayle, have called Republicans in the state Senate to secure their support for an impeachment vote, according to Arizona Capitol Reports.

“Arizona Republicans are abusing their power for partisan gain and subverting the will of the electorate, which voted to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians over a decade ago," said Michael Sargeant, the executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

The map put forth by the commission is in the middle of a 30-day public comment period. If Brewer's attempts to unseat the commissioners fail, the draft map will likely be adopted without major modifications.

- This post was updated at 9:47 p.m.

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