Author

Avery Hill

Avery Hill is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at avery.hill@ballotpedia.org.

Governor Ducey appoints Corieri to Arizona Director of Insurance

On February 14, 2020, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Christina Corieri (R) to serve as the Interim Director of Arizona’s Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. Corieri filled the vacancy created by Keith Schraad’s (R) resignation on February 12, 2020.

Schraad resigned from the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions to take a job in the private sector. Schraad served as the Department of Insurance’s director for two years before his resignation.

The director oversees the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, the agency charged with enforcing state insurance regulations. The department licenses insurance companies to operate within the state and collects various financial filings and reports from them. It makes specific rules based on regulations passed by the state legislature and, with the cooperation of the attorney general, enforces them. The department also interacts with consumers through its education and outreach initiatives.

Before her appointment to lead the Department of Insurance, Corieri served as a senior policy advisor for Gov. Ducey. She has also served as the health and human services policy advisor for Gov. Ducey, chief of staff for Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, and as a health and policy analyst for the Goldwater Institute.

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Keith Schraad
Arizona Director of Insurance



Ostlie appointed to fill vacancy in North Dakota House of Representatives

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On February 19, 2020, Mitch Ostlie (R) was appointed by the North Dakota District 12 Republican Executive Committee to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former State Rep. Jim Grueneich (R). Ostlie will serve for the remainder of Grueneich’s term, set to end at the end of the year.

Grueneich resigned from the North Dakota House on February 11, 2020, after he moved outside of the district. Grueneich is running to represent North Dakota House of Representatives District 28—the district that encompasses his new home—in 2020. Grueneich was first elected tot he North Dakota House of Representatives in 2016.

Oslie’s appointment to the North Dakota House filled the Assembly’s only vacancy. Ostlie has said he will run in the district’s regular elections in 2020. The primary for that race is June 9 and the general election will take place Nov. 3.

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North Dakota House of Representatives District 12
North Dakota House of Representatives
North Dakota elections, 2020



Gilbert City Council member appointed Maricopa County Assessor

On February 19, 2020, Gilbert City Council member Eddie Cook (R) resigned to accept an appointment to become the Maricopa County Assessor. Cook replaces Paul Petersen, who resigned in January.

A county assessor is a public official responsible for determining the value of properties for tax purposes. As county assessor, Cook will organize regular evaluations of properties throughout Maricopa County and use those evaluations to calculate property tax obligations for residents and businesses. County assessors also maintain property records, deeds, and other documents related to county properties.

Cook’s appointment comes after former assessor Paul Petersen (R) resigned on January 7, 2020. Petersen resigned after being indicted in connection with an adoption fraud on October 8, 2019. The 32-count indictment alleged conspiracy, theft, forgery and 29 counts of fraudulent schemes, according to AZ Central. Petersen’s attorneys released a statement asserting his innocence.

A special election will be held to fill the vacancy created by Cook’s resignation. The winner of that election will serve out the remainder of Cook’s term on the Gilbert City Council, which is set to end in January 2021.

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Vermont state representative resigns

On February 14, 2020, Vermont State Representative Matt Trieber (D) resigned from the state House after representing the Windham-3 District for nine years. Trieber stepped down to focus on his job as a youth student counselor.

In Vermont, state employees elected to serve in the legislature must take an unpaid leave of absence from their employment during legislative sessions. Trieber recently became a full-time employee for the state of Vermont and would have been required to take a leave of absence during Vermont’s five-month-long legislative session.

Vacancies in the Vermont state legislature are filled by the governor. The person appointed serves the remainder of the resigning officeholder’s term. Local Democratic Party leaders will forward suggested appointees to Gov. Phil Scott (R). There are no deadlines set by statute on when this vacancy has to be filled.

Trieber previously served as a selectboard member in Rockingham, Vermont. Before becoming an elected official, Trieber was an environmental consultant with Atkinson Street Environmental in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

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Wisconsin Governor appoints White to Court of Appeals

 

On January 16, 2020, Judge Maxine White was appointed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District 1, by Governor Tony Evers (D) to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former judge Joan Kessler. White took her seat on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on February 7, 2020. She will serve the remainder of Evers term, which ends on July 31, 2021.

Before White was appointed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, she served as the chief judge of Wisconsin’s First Judicial District and as presiding judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court’s Family Division. Before becoming a judge, White served as a legal advisor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and as a manager for the Social Security Administration.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court. The court is composed of 16 judges from four districts. Selection of state court judges in Wisconsin occurs through nonpartisan elections. In the event of a midterm vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement.

Three Wisconsin Court of Appeals justices’ seats are up for election in 2020. A nonpartisan election is scheduled for April 7, 2020.

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Vacancy committee appoints Champion to Colorado House

On February 8, 2020, Richard Champion (R) was appointed by Republican Party leaders in Colorado House District 38 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Colorado Rep. Susan Beckman (R). Champion was sworn in on Feb. 12 and his term will end on January 13, 2021.

Beckman resigned from the Colorado House to join President Donald Trump’s (R) administration. She became a regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Before Champion was appointed to the Colorado House, he served as the Mayor of Columbine Valley, Colorado, and as one of the town’s trustees.

Vacancies in the Colorado state legislature are filled by vacancy committees consisting of members representing the political party that last held the seat. The person appointed serves the remainder of the resigning officeholder’s term.

Champion’s appointment to the Colorado House filled the last remaining vacancy in the Colorado General Assembly. Champion was the third legislator to be appointed to the Colorado General Assembly in 2020 and the seventh appointee since the 2018 general election.

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Democrats select Woodrow to fill vacancy in Colorado House

On February 4, 2020, Steven Woodrow (D) was appointed to fill the vacant District 6 seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. Vacancies in either chamber of the Colorado General Assembly are filled by a committee of members of the political party that last held the seat.

Woodrow’s appointment came after former Colorado representative Chris Hansen (D) resigned on January 21, 2020. Hansen resigned from the state House of Representatives to accept an appointment to the state Senate. Woodrow will complete the remainder of Hansen’s term, which runs until January 2021. All 65 Colorado House seats are up for election in 2020.

The Colorado House has one remaining vacancy, created by Susan Beckman’s (R) resignation to join President Donald Trump’s (R) administration as regional director for the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

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Kent elected first female DFL state Senate leader in Minnesota

On February 1, 2020, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) caucus of the Minnesota State Senate elected Susan Kent (D) to serve as the party’s minority leader for the upcoming legislative session. Kent won the post over fellow senator Tom Bakk (D). Kent will serve as the DFL’s first female leader in the state Senate.

In Minnesota, the minority leader acts as the spokesperson for the minority party’s policy positions and helps direct the minority party’s overall legislative agenda. The current party composition of the Minnesota State Senate is 35 Republicans and 32 Democrats.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota is an affiliate of the national Democratic Party. It traces its roots in the state to the 1920s when the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party ran candidates on a platform of agrarian reform, the public ownership of railroads and a series of protections for farmers and union workers. The Farmer-Labor Party united with the Minnesota Democratic Party in 1944.

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Maryland State Representative Hettleman appointed to state Senate

On January 31, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan (R) appointed Shelly Hettleman (D) to fill the vacant District 11 seat in the Maryland Senate. Hettleman assumed office on February 3, 2020. Her current term will end in 2022.

Hettleman’s appointment came after former senator Robert Zirkin (D) resigned on January 2, 2020, to focus on his law practice and a new business venture. Zirkin served in the Maryland Senate for 12 years.

Before Hettleman was appointed to the state Senate she served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2015 to 2020. During her time in the state House, Hettleman served as the vice-chair of the Education and Economic Development subcommittee and the House chair of the Joint Audit and Evaluation Committee.

The Maryland Senate has no remaining vacancies. The only current vacancy in the Maryland General Assembly is the vacancy created by Hettleman’s resignation. Vacant Maryland General Assembly seats are filled by gubernatorial appointment.

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Mississippi state representative resigns after less than one month in office

On January 31, 2020, Mississippi representative Ramona Blackledge (R) resigned from the Mississippi House of Representatives after being sworn in earlier in the month. Blackledge stepped down to maintain her Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) retirement benefits.

Blackledge’s resignation came after Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) stated that he would not challenge a section of the Mississippi Administrative Code which prohibits recipients of Mississippi’s public employees’ retirement system benefits from also receiving a salary from the state.

Blackledge had served in the Jones County tax collectors and assessors office before her election as a state representative. A special election will be held to fill the vacancy created by Blackledge’s resignation. Details about this upcoming special election, including when it will be held, have not yet been released.

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