Nancy Barto was selected by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to
replace LD 7 State Representative David Burnell Smith, who was forced
out of office for campaign finance violations. Although Burnell Smith
was one of the six nominated by the LD 7 PCs to replace himself, the
PCs were wise enough not to select him as one of the three names to
forward to the Board.
The Board selected Mrs. Barto, who was the LD 7 Chairperson of the
Republican Party, over Howard Levine and Howard Sprague. Her selection
is about as close to re-selecting Burnell Smith as they could get
without actually trying that stunt, however. Mrs. Barto is a staunch
supporter of Burnell Smith in his fight with the Clean Elections
Commission and the courts to keep his job. Mrs. Barto claims that there
is still strong support for Burnell Smith in the district, as well as
strong animosity toward the Commission.
Barto said, “I’m disappointed that they [the Commission] would go this
route. I don’t think they have the authority to overrule the voters of
this district.” The Arizona Supreme Court and the voters of Arizona, in
adopting and continuing to support Clean Elections, disagreed.