Alan Ehrenhalt is a former executive editor of GOVERNING.E-mail: email@example.com
Frank Antenori, who serves in the Arizona legislature, has a thing about Tucson. He finds the local leadership disgusting, calls its elected officials a bunch of hippies, and leaves the overall impression that he thinks Arizona's second-largest city is more or less a hellhole.
That poses one minor inconvenience for Antenori. He lives in Tucson and represents it in the Arizona House. Not that it's easy for voters to discover that. He identifies himself to them as a legislator from "southern Pima County," which is true but leaves a lot out. When a reporter from the Arizona Republic cornered him and suggested that he was a sort-of Tucsonian-in-the-closet, Antenori came up with a creative response: He said his house was only 400 feet from the city limits. "I live in Tucson but on the very edge of it," he said. "I don't represent Tucson as a whole."
Antenori's approach may in fact be good politics. About 85 percent of his district's voters live outside the city border, and if they feel the same way he does, he can probably stay in office quite a while. On the other hand, it's a little jarring to hear a legislator from any district go out of his way to insult his home town. Perhaps, when the state's legislative districts are redrawn following the 2010 Census, mapmakers could come up with new boundaries for Antenori, giving both him and Tucson a divorce neither would be likely to contest.
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