Derrick Watchman. Photo by Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Senator David Bradley Selects Derrick Watchman for Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission
Source: Arizona State Sen. David Bradley (D)

PHOENIX, Arizona — Arizona Senate Minority Leader David Bradley released the following statement on his selection of Derrick Watchman for Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission:

“Derrick Watchman is our selection for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. We believe his experience as a leader in the business community gives him the consensus building skills that will make him successful in this very important role, said Senate Minority Leader David Bradley.

“Arizona is deeply diverse, and Mr. Watchman’s time and experience on the Navajo Nation and traveling across our state provides him with a unique and vital perspective that will be an essential contribution to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. As a member of the Navajo Nation, Mr. Watchman is an important and essential addition to a commission where Indigenous perspectives and values have never been adequately represented. Every voter must have fair representation in our state and the ability to elect candidates that truly reflect and uphold their values. It is hard to overstate the critical work the Commission has ahead and we know Mr. Watchman will uphold these values to achieve fair representation for every Arizonan,” said Senator Bradley.

Watchman earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 and has 35 years of professional experience in tribal government, economic development, and business. He has 8 years’ experience as chief of staff and senior level positions with tribal nations and departments. He is the chairman of the board for the National Center for American Indian Economic Development, a board member for the Arizona Rural Development Council and an appointed official for the United States Government in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Text of letter to Derrick Watchman:

Dear Mr. Watchman,

It is my distinct privilege to inform you that I am appointing you to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. This decision was made in consultation with individuals from across the state who were genuinely impressed by your background, expertise, and education that made you uniquely qualified for this very important position. Your various experiences working with Arizona’s Native communities and how you have lived and worked for most of your career on the Navajo Nation were significant factors in your selection.

Your acceptance of this appointment remedies the historical underrepresentation of Indigenous people in the redistricting process that has existed for twenty years. You will bring a critical perspective and voice to the Commission in this regard. Further, your experience as a leader in business has given you the consensus building skills that will make you successful in this new role.

This appointment comes with tremendous responsibility and will demand a significant amount of your time and talent for many months, if not years, to come. The Arizona Constitution requires you, as a commissioner, to apply the constitutional redistricting provisions “in an honest, independent and impartial manner and to uphold public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process.” These lofty aspirations are essential to providing Arizonans with legislative and congressional districts that allow every voter to have fair representation and to have the ability to elect candidates that truly reflect and uphold their values.

I am proud on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the people of Arizona to appoint you to the Independent Redistricting Commission and look forward to your leadership and dedication to upholding the redistricting principles while serving as a commissioner.


Senator David Bradley