PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona House Democratic leader Andrés Cano announced Saturday that he intends to resign at the end of the current legislative session so he can begin pursuing a graduate degree this summer at the Kennedy School in harvard.
The third-term lawmaker who represents much of the Tucson area said in a statement that his acceptance to the school’s Mid-Career Master of Public Administration program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.
“As a first-generation college graduate, I never thought an opportunity like this would come my way,” Cano said. “Simply put: I want to do more for the people of Arizona and our nation, and I want to be prepared for my next chapter in public service.”
The program starts in July.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors will elect a replacement to complete their two-year term.
Cano, 31, was first elected in 2018 and again in 2020 and 2022. The House Democratic Caucus elected him as minority leader last year.
The Legislature is expected to conclude its work in the coming weeks. Votes on the state budget are scheduled to begin Tuesday.
Cano said Saturday that he is committed to “seeing the state budget process go all the way.”
He also plans to resign in June from his position as director of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
From 2012 to 2019, Cano served as a policy adviser to the late Richard Elias, former Chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
Current board chair Adelita Grijalva and supervisor Sharon Bronson released a statement congratulating Cano on his acceptance to the Harvard program after a “meteoric rise” to Democratic leader that began when he landed an internship with the county at the 14 years
“Andrés understood from the time he was a child that the power of government can be best used to provide opportunity and ensure equity,” Grijalva said. “He is a force of nature and Harvard had better get ready; a whirlwind of positive energy is about to blow into Cambridge.”
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