Prescott Valley Town councilwoman Jodi Rooney, a Republican, announced her intention to seek the Legislative District 1 seat in Arizona House of Representatives. There are two seats for District 1, they are currently held by Republicans Noel Campbell and David Stringer. Both have announced they intend to seek re-election.
To focus on her campaign, Rooney recently resigned her position at the Arizona Department of Transportation, where she served as the local Public Agency Section manager. Any state employee who seeks state office must resign when they submit their nomination papers under current statutes.
“I have chosen to run for this office and will be diligent about it. Resigning from my position demonstrates my commitment to it. That includes talking with and listening to people. It is very important for a representative to hear from the people she represents,” Rooney said in an email Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The Prescott Valley Town Council appointed Rooney in January this year to fill the vacancy left by Stephen Marshall’s resignation. Her term ends in December 2018, and she will not seek another term.
Campbell is in his second term in the state house. Stringer is in his first. Arizona has term limits; both could serve a maximum of four terms, or eight years, in the state house.
A Democratic Party of Yavapai County official says they do not have an official candidate at this time, however, Jan Manolis is considering running for a seat. A Green Party of Yavapai Party official said they also have a candidate considering a run, but has not made up her mind. The official did not name the person considering running. A message to the Libertarian Party of Yavapai County’s Facebook page was not immediately returned.
She has served at the municipal, regional and state levels of transportation including the federal process. Her career includes more than seven years in leadership positions with the Arizona Department of Transportation. She also has served regionally as a former administrator for the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO), the transportation planning organization for the Prescott urbanized area. Prior to moving to Arizona, her work included service with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Rooney’s platform includes, but is not limited to, the Interstate 17 corridor, regional economic development and education.
“If you don’t know how government works, it’s hard to get things done — the learning curve works against you. I have working knowledge and have demonstrated the ability to get along with people, working with them to get things done,” she said. “I believe in civil discourse and recognize there is more than one side to an issue.”
She and her husband, Casey Rooney, are active volunteers in the community. She is a first-generation college graduate, an alumna of Augustana College in Illinois, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. From a young age, she knew she would work in public service.
“Arizonans, young and old, want a good quality of life. For some that means a living wage, affordable education, affordable health care, or protection of our home/property values. Education is close to my heart. I want to help raise the bar,” she said.
Rooney also is involved with National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Women’s Transportation Seminar, and Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Her husband is economic director for the City of Cottonwood, and they have been married 15 years.