Prep for Reorg

On Saturday, December 10, our County Precinct Committee Persons will elect officers to serve in the upcoming election cycle: Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. These elected officers constitute the Executive Committee for our County Party until the Chair adds appointed members to that committee pursuant to our bylaws.

In addition, on December 10, we will elect 34 State Committee Members. (13 State Committee Members were already elected from the County as part of the LD-7 party committee organization.) If you are a Precinct Committee Member who wants to serve as a State Committee Member and you have not already been in touch with the Nominating Committee to express your interest, please do so by writing Linda Guarino at .

While nominations may be made from the floor at the December 10 meeting, our nominating committee is proposing the following officer candidates:

Chair: Patrick Lucus

Patrick Lucus is a PC in Precinct 18. He offers the following statement:

As few as four weeks ago, the idea of my standing for CC Chair hadn’t even crossed my mind, so I am truly humbled tor those PCs who have reached out to me over the last several weeks with words of encouragement and support. 

To quote Adrian Fontes, our new Secretary of State elect, “Leadership is a privilege and an honor”.

I realize that some may not be familiar with my background, so I thought I would share a summary of my bio to give you the opportunity to ask me any questions about my professional or political background.

So, here it goes…

Political life:

  • Lifelong Democrat, registered at age 17 and became a PC for the first time at age 18 while a senior at North Phoenix High School
  • Elected Treasurer and later Chair of Legislative District 18 Democratic Party in Phoenix, which focused on electing Democrats to the AZ Legislature
  • Served as campaign manager for a candidate for the AZ House
  • Become a certified Parliamentarian (PRP) and served as such for the Phoenix Union High School Board of Education and other organizations/nonprofits
  • After relocating to the San Francisco Bay area for work, served three terms as President of the San Mateo/Foster City Democratic Club.
  • Worked on campaigns for numerous candidates for the state legislature, Board of Supervisors, mayor, city council, and Congress. Held multiple roles in Congresswomen Jackie Speier’s numerous campaigns (unfortunately, Jackie retires this December)
  • Volunteered with several of Ann Kirkpatrick’s congressional campaigns…. (Ann invited me to the first Obama inauguration; we had a great week in DC)
  • Campaign manager and treasurer for three candidates for the Community College Board
  • Previously served several terms (appointed and elected) as PC in Williams AZ (Williams North#98)
  • Ran unsuccessfully for the Williams School board as a “pro-mask” candidate at the start of the pandemic
  • Now a PC in Flagstaff (#18), served as a Poll Observer for the 2022 election after volunteering on numerous state-wide campaigns

Personal life:

  •  Married Patricia, my high school sweetheart in 1977, and we will be celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary this coming April.
  • We have two adult children, and our four grandchildren live in Doney Park.
  • Graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education, (with a minor in Political Science and American History).
  • Obtained my MBA from Stanford while working at a CA bio tech company.
  • Volunteered with an international (501c3) nonprofit charity, becoming President of Northern Arizona, eventually serving 3 years on their Board of Directors in Phoenix, with fiduciary responsibility for a $30+ million-dollar annual operating budget
  • Patty and I founded and built a food pantry in a donated home in Ash Fork that still operates today, serving 250 clients each month in Ash Fork and Seligman
  • An ordained (internet) minister, performed marriage ceremonies for several relatives as well as for numerous LGBTQ+ couples, some complete strangers at the time, after same sex marriage finally became legal
  • Enjoy domestic and international travel, have visited Ireland, France, Italy, Singapore, China, The Netherlands, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Chile to name just some countries

Professional life:

  •       After graduation, accepted a summer position at HP in Phoenix, stayed for 10 years in numerous management positions.
  •       After leaving HP, secured a Secret government clearance to work in several managerial positions for a Defense Contractor and later was International Logistics Manager at DHL
  •       Became a director at a major biotech company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area, where I managed 300 remote associates in the USA, Mexico and Latin America.
  •       I retired as Director of the biotech company this past May (2022) after 25 years of service. Patricia retired from a career as an educator and school administrator in 2021.

First Vice-Chair: Laura Carter

Laura Carter is a PC in Precinct 2 and is traveling at the time of this writing, so has not provided a statement. Check back before the meeting on December 10. Laura has volunteered on a number of campaigns and worked in the Mission for Arizona Flagstaff office to facilitate canvas launches this fall.

Second Vice-Chair: Aubrey Sonderegger

Aubrey Sonderegger is a PC in Precinct 8 and currently serves as First Vice-Chair and as a State Committee Member. This is her candidate statement:

Today I am writing to ask for your support in my run for 2nd Vice Chair. At this point, I probably don’t get to claim the title of political neophyte anymore; I have devoted the last 6 years to learning all I can about 

  • how to support good candidates, 
  • how to coordinate with important campaigns and causes, 
  • recruiting and engaging other passionate volunteers from all walks of life, 
  • navigating legal and financial boundaries, 
  • building public relations, 
  • creative event organizing,
  • and even (much to my chagrin) fundraising strategies. 

I’ve learned from amazing teachers. I’ve grown beautiful friendships. I’ve grown into a confident person who knows she is up to the task. I’ve also learned a little about sustainable efforts and am grateful to see new leadership stepping up as the face of our Party so that I can parent my kids as well as devote energy to the work of this organization. From PC to Secretary to 1st Vice Chair, now it feels like the time to step back just a little and provide a link between one chapter and the next. 

I am excited to see what the next years will bring. We have confident and experienced leadership with a new perspective. No matter what we keep and what we change I am certain that we will continue to grow together as a Party. I hope we will be an even more relied-upon community resource. We should continue to provide a seat at the table for the diversity we are blessed with in our county. Let us light the imaginations of our youth so that they want to envision themselves in this work. Democracy itself should be our mission, truth and patriotism in the face of fear and disinformation. 

As for my personal goals, I hope to keep up work with the Latino Committee, the Indigenous Committee, and plan to stay involved in planning and executing our growing list of events such as the RK, 4th of July Parade, Monsoon Picnic, and Dia de los Muertos. I would like to be part of the efforts to build our Youth Committee back up and perhaps see a return of an internship program. Plenty of energy will need to be devoted to building and negotiating relationships within the Navajo Nation’s counties, the different counties that make up LD7, activist organizations, the state party, and campaigns as they begin to form again. And I want to bring future leaders into this space and build them up as I was a few years back. 

2024 will see Arizona at the heart of yet another urgently critical race for President, a Senate seat, a pitched battle for Congressional Districts and Legislative seats. Ballot initiatives that protect our freedoms or take them away. We must be ready. I humbly ask for your support and look forward to continuing the work. 

Secretary: Laura Huenneke

Laura Huenneke is a PC in Precinct 92 and retired from a career in higher education. From 2003-2017, Laura served at Northern Arizona University in many capacities, including Dean of Arts & Sciences, then Dean of Engineering & Natural Sciences, then Vice President for Research, then Provost. She has worked with numerous non-profits and professional societies, sometimes as an elected president or in other leadership positions.

During redistricting in 2021, Laura served our County Party as one of two liaisons to the Arizona Democratic Party, attending meetings of the ADP Voter Protection Committee, ADP staff meetings regarding redistricting, and hearings of the Independent Redistricting Commission. She collaborated with our County Chair and others as we responded to the aggressive effort of Republicans on the commission to disenfranchise voters in Northern Arizona. She also worked as part of the committee drafting the most recent County Party platform.

Laura worked with our Chair, our County Elections Director, and Mission for Arizona to execute the voter protection plan for our County. She served as a poll observer, receiving board observer, and tabulation observer, and will again be serving as a tabulation observer during the recount.

Laura’s political/policy interests are focused on long-term sustainability and environmental issues, recognizing that true sustainability must be founded in equity and full inclusion of the diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives among us. She knows that any sound policy decision or implementation is dependent upon us preserving our democracy and the fullest possible range of voices. She is willing to serve as Secretary to support excellent communication and documentation of our County Party’s activities.

Treasurer: Bill Wade

Bill Wade is a PC in Precinct 1 and currently serves as our treasurer. Bill submitted this statement:

Ever since 2016, it has been evident to every committed Democrat that now continues to be the time to come to the aid of our country. That was my brief, umpteenth consideration before I volunteered to take on a new and unknown challenge, when other members of the Executive Committee showed a bit of hesitation to step up to fill the suddenly-vacated CCDP Treasurership two years ago.

Fortunately for me, the job turned out to be a reasonably happy fit for me personally. The only reason I had to hope that this would be so was that I had diligently balanced my own checkbook every single month since I was 18, a decade ago (possibly more).

Every position on ExCom is uniquely demanding, but the position of Treasurer is a strange kind of different. Unlike the others, it does not place a premium on leadership and people skills. Instead, a Treasurer’s duties lean toward a mix of computer skills, a modicum of numerical prestidigitation, attention to repetitive minutiae, and occasionally—despite these aforementioned solo activities—a comfort level with occasional report presentation.

Being Treasurer is not for everyone, but it can provide a rewarding sense of contribution for anyone who is comfortable within those peculiar parameters.

My Bio is scarcely pertinent to a single one of the considerations listed above, aside from giving presentations. I trained and worked as a geologist (Tennessee Geologic Survey and a few years in the oil patch—good news: I never found any!), transitioned back to being an older doctoral student and author, thence to being a professor, and lastly to being a boss, owning and running geo-analytical laboratories in Nigeria, Trinidad, and Houston.

All of which was varied and highly interesting, but it should also reassure and/or warn anyone considering becoming a County Party Treasurer in the future that a financial background, however helpful it may be, is neither a necessary requirement nor a guarantee that you will find the role personally satisfying.

My conclusion after these past years of acting as Party Treasurer is that potential future Treasurers will best benefit from training and practicing the role, to carefully assess whether it suits them or not. And that is my proposed #1 task that I plan to accomplish in 2023: to identify the next candidate or candidates for Treasurer, who will enjoy occupying the role for several years into the future, beginning one year from now.

State Committee Members

We have a new phenomenon in Coconino County this year: An organized legislative district committee for LD7. As a result, some State Committee Members in our county have already been elected. As said earlier, we will elect more on December 10. The nominating committee is preparing a list of candidates for the remaining 34 positions to be presented on December 10. As with the officer positions, nominations may be made from the floor during the meeting, but the meeting will go much more smoothly if you are in touch with the nominating committee chair, Linda Guarino, before the meeting.

The elected Coconino County State Committee Members from the LD7 party committee are:

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