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New AZ Commission Mix Takes Effect Tuesday

A returning and a new member of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will be sworn into their respective offices Tuesday, giving the state regulatory commission a permanent replacement for Marc Spitzer, a former member and state legislative leader who accepted a nomination to FERC earlier this year. The ACC will begin the new year with a full complement of regulators.

Incumbent Kris Mayes won re-election, and former teacher/elected official/entrepreneur Gary Pierce won election in his first try to the ACC last November. They both serve four-year terms. They join the other commissioners on the five-member panel -- Chairman Jeff Hatch-Miller, Bill Mundell and Mike Gleason -- all of whom are serving current four-year terms that expire at the end of 2008.

Pierce was chosen by the Arizona Republican Party to run on the statewide ballot for Spitzer's spot on the ACC. Barry Wong, a former state legislator and attorney, earlier this year was appointed to the commission by Gov. Janet Napolitano to serve out the remainder of the year. He did not run for election to a full four-year term.

"Commissioner Wong served the state well since his appointment in July," said ACC Chairman Hatch-Miller, calling him "a steady and active participant." He added that he was looking forward to Tuesday's installation of Pierce onto the commission, along with Mayes continuation of her service, which began in October 2003.

Piece is a former county supervisor in the Yuma, AZ, area and a former state legislative representative from that area. He has owned car dealerships, car rental and gasoline service stations in the area, following an earlier career as an elementary school teacher in Mesa, AZ. Mayes is a former local political journalist in Phoenix who later earned a master's degree in public administration at Columbia University where she wrote a thesis on electric industry deregulation.

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