Benson man picked as replacement Arizona House member

November 20, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The Board of Supervisors in Cochise County has chosen a replacement for a Republican lawmaker who resigned last month.

The board chose Republican Lupe Diaz on Friday to replace Rep. Becky Nutt from three candidates they interviewed for the job.

Diaz was born and raised in Bisbee and serves as the pastor and principal of Grace Chapel/Grace Christian Academy in Benson. He is also on the Benson city council, but will have to resign because state law prohibits holding a legislative seat and another elected office except a school board post at the same time.

Diaz previously served two-terms as the president and CEO of the Benson/San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce. He will serve the remaining year on Nutt’s term.

Nutt served in the Legislature since 2017, representing Legislative District 14. The Republican-dominated district includes all of Cochise and Greenlee counties, most of Graham County and easternmost Pima County. She did not give a reason for stepping down halfway through her second term.

State law required the board to choose a Republican for the seat because Nutt is a GOP member.