Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mohave County Democratic Elects New Leaders

The Mohave County Democratic Party held elections at their reorganizational meeting in Lake Havasu City on December 5th. The group elected Kingman resident and county District One party chair Joe Longoria to a two year term as chairman of the county party.  A recently returned Kingman native, Longoria was elected last month to the District One position and had served as the county point man for the Arizona Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign.  “I didn’t think that I would end up in this position, but we learned so much. Dems are going to go to the state house not facing a super-majority and our Congressional delegation is majority blue. We set up a lot of ground work, to move forward we will build from that.”  Joe will replace Ed Pyrzynski, also of Kingman.
Stepping down, due to family illness, after serving as an interim chair for much of the turbulent 2012 election season, Ed Pyrzynski, a former postman from Chicago was happy with the election. “The year started out rough, but things worked out. The Dem booth at the County Fair was impressive.  All of us made a difference.”
Rounding out the executive board, two-time state senatorial candidate, Beth Weisser was re-elected to her position as first vice chair and Peach Springs’ community leader Wanda Quesula was re-elected to be second vice-chair. After over a decade in the county leadership, Lake Havasu’s Kay Lilland announced her retirement as party treasurer and promised to stay in an active position to help train her replacement, Kingman’s Danny Baker. Acting county party secretary Mikel Weisser was elected to continue serving in that position. And, Bullhead City’s David Hamilton was re-elected Sergeant at Arms. 
The Democrats will be facing a major rebuilding year with not only the replacement of much of the party officers, but also the departure of the heads of all three county districts as well. In Lake Havasu’s District Three, in addition to the retirement of long-time county treasurer and Havasu organizer, Kay Lilland, district chair Dave Tunnell, another Havasu mainstay, is also stepping down citing illness in the family. Tunnell will be replaced by Joan McDermott. Both Tunnell and Lilland have a driving force in the Lake Havasu Democratic Party for years and both intend to remain active. Besides training the new county treasurer, Lilland will continue to be the leader of LHC’s Democratic Association of Havasu and Tunnell will take a role on the newly revamped finance committee.
In District Two serving the Bullhead area, acting chair Julie Piquette will continue officially in the role. Piquette replaced former chair Hillary Williams when she resigned to run for the newly created Mohave County District Five Supervisor position. In Kingman’s District One, long-time chair and county party office manager Mary McLaughlin is stepping down after eight years. Her son Patrick Gonzales also previously served as county chair.
In addition to electing Mohave County Party officers the group also approved the slate of delegates who will represent the county party at the state party’s quarterly meetings. Following a successful season of voter registration and increased precinct volunteers the county delegation is increasing from 14 to 20. From District One, the Kingman area, the delegates are:  Ed Pyrzynski, John Holland, Mert Glancy, Joan Johns, Wanda Quesula, Beth Weisser, Mikel Weisser, Patrick Gonzales, Mary McLaughlin, Susie Gestine, and Perry Wickerd of Dolan Springs. From District Two, the Bullhead City area, Marty & Patricia Coburn, Julie Piquette, Dave Hamilton, and Laureen Hayden. And from District Three, Lake Havasu, Joan McDermott, Kay Lilland & Dave Tunnel. The party also announced its list of newly appointed PCs, or precinct committee leaders: Paul Dean Young, Merrit Becket, Jacky Goode from LHC; and  Carol & Pete Voydanoff, Hilary Williams, Richard Krup, Iretha Badnar, Barb Grier from the Bullhead City area.

In addition to the election of officers, the party’s monthly meeting also served as the official kick-off for this year’s annual fundraiser, the Presidential Inaugural Ball. Event chair Dave Tunnell, working with is the lead on the committee, reported the essentials of the Inaugural Ball: It will be held Jan. 19th, $35, black tie optional. Dinner/Dance guest former Board of Regents Chair and recent leader of AZ’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, Fred Duval. Tunnell’s survey  of LHC Dems suggests that there may be a true interest in such a celebration.” We are also hoping to be able to read a blurb from the Whitehouse thanking Mohave County Dems. The tickets are distributed to district chairs.
For more information Contact, Joe Longoria, county chair Mohave County Democratic Party, 620 E. Beale St., Suite 4 Kingman, AZ 86401, ph: 928-753-0006. Or visit the website at:

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