Baja Arizona: America's 51st state? - Tucson News Now

Baja Arizona: America's 51st state?

Correction: This original article wrongly stated Peter Eckerstrom as co-chair of Start our State when if fact it was Paul Eckerstrom.

By Brian White - email

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (KOLD) - A move to convert the county into its own state continues to gain traction.

The 'Start Our State' political committee has officially registered in Pima County. The group says they're dedicated to creating the 51st American state in Southern Arizona.

Did you know?

  • In 1820, Maine split from Massachusetts and was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state
  • West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War
  • Pima County has more people than Montana, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming
  • Pima County is bigger than Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island

"A lot of Pima County residents are revolted about what's going on in Phoenix and don't want to be associated with it," Start our State co-chair Peter Hormel said.

Hormel says they want the voters of Pima County to decide if they'd like to be in their own state. The committee aims to put the measure on the 2012 ballot.

[Click here to email Start our State]

The process would begin with the Pima County Board of Supervisors, where it would be up to them on whether or not they'd frame the initiative as a referendum, Start our State co-chair Paul Eckerstrom said.

If not, the measure could be put on the 2012 ballot through the "initiative" process, which would require a minimum number of signatures.

From there, the move to create the 51st state would go the Arizona Legislature. Once lawmakers in Phoenix gave their approval, the matter would go to Washington, where a constitutional convention would be held for ratification. 

Either way, Start our State is serious about splitting from Arizona, Eckerstrom said. 

A release from the committee indicates the group's dissatisfaction of the laws coming out of Arizona's capitol:

"Our mission is to establish a new state in Southern Arizona free of the un-American, unconstitutional machinations of the Phoenix-controlled Arizona legislature and to restore our region's credibility as a place welcoming to others, open to commerce, and friendly to its neighbors."

[Click here to see the Start our State Facebook page]

KOLD News 13 is gathering all angles to this story. Stay tuned to our broadcasts on Thursday for detailed reports on this measure. Make sure to follow Bud Foster on Twitter and Facebook for the latest.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.




Powered by Frankly