America 51st State. America could get its 51st state in Pima County by dividing parts of Arizona. The former Democratic Party chairman for the county is so fed up with the state’s conservative politics that he wants the county to secede.
Paul Eckerstrom says he wants to restore the region’s credibility as a place that is welcoming to others. He and fellow Tucson attorney Peter Hormel have formed a political committee called Start Our State to explore process of making Pima County a separate state.
The mood of frustration has been “been building for the last couple of years,” Eckerstrom said in an interview Tuesday with MSNBC’s Tamron Hall. “A lot of folks down here have been very, very frustrated with the extremist policies coming out of our state Legislature.”
Anti-immigration bills, education cuts and attempts by conservative lawmakers to “nullify” federal laws prompted the secessionist movement.
Start Our State lists its mission as: “To establish a new state in Southern Arizona free of the un-American, unconstitutional machinations of the Arizona legislature and to restore our region’s credibility as a place welcoming to others, open to commerce, and friendly to its neighbors.”
Eckerstrom said Start Our State, which had more than 2,350 “likes” on its Facebook page as of Tuesday night, wants to put a non-binding resolution for secession before Pima County voters next year. If approved, the measure would need the OK of either the state Legislature or a statewide referendum. Congress and the president would also have to approve the new state.
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