Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said it’s just “Frank being Frank,” when he was asked about comments made by Sen. Frank Antenori at during a Tea Party event last month.
Antenori, who is running on the Republican ticket in the special election for Congressional District 8, spoke to a capacity crowd last month when presidential hopeful Rick Santorum came to Tucson.
In his speech, Antenori said, “When Marana was going toe to toe with Chuck Huckelberry and Pima County, and Marana wasn’t even in my legislative district, who did Marana call to run the bill to fight Chuck Huckelberry? They called me. Why did they call me? Because they knew I would ram it down his throat. And I did exactly that. I don’t pull punches.”
When asked about the comments, Huckelberry said, “It’s just Frank being Frank.”
“The question is does he have the temperament to be a congressman? Arizona has had a lot of reasonable members of Congress who think before they talk,” Huckelberry said. “It’s up to people to choose their elected leadership. I wouldn’t put Frank in the same category as Mo Udall, and he would probably be fine with that.”
Udall represented Southern Arizona in Congress from 1961 until 1991. He died in 1998 of Parkinson's disease at the U.S. Veterans Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
During the event in early February, Antenori was referring to HB 1171, which passed during the 2011 Arizona Legislative session.
The bill allowed Marana to take over rights of the northwest wastewater treatment facility. Marana had been fighting Pima County since 2008 to gain control of the facility, which serves more than 1,800 customers with no luck through the courts.
By the state intervening, Marana was able to take over control on Jan. 3.
The Arizona Legislature has taken aim at Pima County again in the current session, with House Bill 2656.
HB2656, which was introduced by District 26 Rep. Terri Proud, aims to provide more oversight to Pima County bond procedures.
The bill passed 34-23 in the House on Tuesday, and will now go on to the Senate where Antenori will be able to vote on the controversial bill.