by Jim Nintzel
Add Democrat Nancy Young Wright to the list of potential candidates for Republican Ann Day's District 1 seat on the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
Day recently announced she wouldn’t seek a fourth term representing the Catalina Foothills and Oro Valley areas on the Board of Supes.
Wright, who served in the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 26 before being knocked out of office by Republican Terri Proud last year, tells the Range she’s considering a run for the seat, although no final decision has been made.
The only Republican who has declared that he’s running for the seat is Matt Caldwell, but Rep. Vic Williams, who served as Wright’s GOP LD26 seatmate in the House of Representatives, is also mulling a run.
Before serving in the Legislature, Wright led a reform effort as a member of the Amphi School District governing that eventually resulted in a recall election driving two members from office.
Her kids played a role in her next political step, too. When she noticed that classrooms in the Amphi School District were overcrowded, she started talking to some friends about finding someone to run for the school board in 1996. She talked to 30 different people, but there were no takers.
"Everybody kept saying no, and now I know why," says Wright, who ended being the candidate who won the seat. "It's so much work!"
Wright ran into static with her fellow board members and the administration when she began asking questions about why the district had purchased two large parcels of land without appraisals. Her colleagues warned her any investigation would be counter productive.
"I'm from stubborn stock," Wright says. "If you tell me to go hush and sit in the corner, like they tried, it really gets me going."
Wright continued to pull at the thread—and soon, an entire rotten quilt of corruption began to unravel. Those were the days of endangered pygmy owls, teacher walk-outs, federal lawsuits and even a fight over the right of citizens to address the board.
Wright showed her fortitude throughout the fight—and came out on top when outraged Amphi voters recalled the ruling majority in the spring of 2000.