Samuel P. Goddard Papers

Politics in Arizona

Image Illustrating 8 New Legislative Districts in 1966

Voters Guide on Reapportionment.

MSS-163 Box 9 Folder 1

Arizona Politics in the 1960s

During the 1960s, power in the Arizona House of Representatives shifted away from a Democratic Party dominance towards a coalition based on conservative ideologies shared by "Pinto Democrats", who represented rural concerns of mining, farming, and ranching, and Republicans. Goddard's emergence onto the political scene in Arizona toward the end of the 1950s allowed him a unique perspective on the changes occurring in state politics. One of the major changes that occurred was the reapportionment of Arizona's legislative districts under the U.S. Supreme Court mandated "one person-one vote" principle. When the Arizona Legislature failed to redistrict in 1965, Governor Goddard was named as the defendant in the lawsuit Klahr v. Goddard that was filed to force the redrawing of congressional districts. With the 1966 election, reapportionment, based on population, significantly transformed the state landscape and shifted political power from rural areas to the rapidly growing urban areas of the state, particularly Maricopa County. In 1966, Republicans achieved what they have not been able to accomplish before reapportionment; they gained control over both the state House and Senate.