Andrea Dalessandro

Rep. Andrea Dalessandro 

Andrea Dalessandro, a Democrat who has served in the state Legislature for nine years, said Monday she won’t run for re-election after her current term ends in January 2023.

Dalessandro said several factors played into her decision but landing in a heavily Republican district after legislative boundaries were redrawn last month was a deciding factor.

Dalessandro, who lives in Quail Creek, ended up in LD19, which has a 61-38 Republican voter registration edge. A couple of miles away — also in Sahuarita — is newly redrawn LD21, with a 65-35 voting edge for Democrats. Dalessandro said she considered moving into LD21 but decided against it.

She said she was "disappointed" by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission's final maps, which stand unless challenged in court. 

It was the redistricting process that helped Dalessandro get elected in 2012. At the time, then-LD30 was represented by three Republicans. It became LD2 following redistricting based on the 2010 census, and was represented by Democrats for the next decade, barring one House term by Republican Chris Ackerley. 

Dalessandro, 74, had come up short in two previous attempts to get elected to the Legislature, in 2008 and 2010. But 2012 was her year, and she has served since.

Dalessandro said her health also played a role in the decision to step back. She was diagnosed last summer with polycythemia vera, a rare but treatable blood cancer. She is responding well to treatment but it leaves her tired at times, she said. She is tested every three months. 

"It was really hard to come to terms with it in the beginning," she said, adding, "There's always the possibility that I won't respond to the medicine."

Other deciding factors included wanting to be available for two family members facing serious illnesses and a desire to travel abroad when COVID-19 is less of a threat.

There's something else she wants to do: "I plan to do some stand-up comedy — it might just be on Facebook — about the interesting people I've encountered" while in office, she said.  

As for politics being part of her future, "I'm undecided," she said. 

Dalessandro taught five years at Rutgers University, where she earned an MBA. She also was an accountant and math teacher.

After her election to the state House of Representatives in 2012, she was appointed to the state Senate in 2014, when Linda Lopez resigned. She served there until she was termed out in 2020. She then ran again for a House seat that year and was elected.

The district Dalessandro was drawn into — LD19 — is currently mostly LD14, represented by three Republicans — Gail Griffin and Lupe Diaz in the House and David Gowan in the Senate. Green Valley is in LD19.

LD21, considered a safe Democratic district that includes most of Sahuarita, will see changes. State Sen. Rosanna Gabaldon remains in the district, but Dalessandro and Rep. Daniel Hernandez, who is running for Congress, will be out.

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