PHOENIX — The mother of Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard is running for his seat in the legislative chamber as he pursues an open state Senate seat.

Term limits bar Mesnard from running again for re-election to the House, so Chandler City Councilwoman Nora Ellen plans to take the seat, the Arizona Capitol Times reported on Tuesday.

Ellen said people have encouraged her to run for the Legislature and the timing just became right. Ellen is a real estate broker and is serving her second term on the city council in Chandler. The city limits elected officials to two terms.

If Ellen and Mesnard are both elected, the mother and son would serve in the Legislature at the same time.

“Neither one of us planned ages ago that we would be in politics,” Ellen said.

Mesnard is pursuing the seat that will be vacated by Senate President Steve Yarbrough who will reach term limits next year. Mesnard has endorsed his mother to take over his seat.

“I’m glad she’s not running against me. She’d probably beat me,” Mesnard said.

The last lawmaker to serve in the Legislature with a parent was Democratic Minority Leader Rebecca Rios. She once served at the same time as her father, former state Senator Pete Rios.


Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com