The first Native American has been elected chairman of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission.

Steve M. Titla will serve as the commission’s chairman for 2017. He was appointed to a five-year term by Senate Democratic Leader Leah Landrum Taylor in 2013.

Titla, a partner at the Titla & Parsi law firm and Arizona State University graduate, is a democrat from Gila County. Titla is from the San Carlos Apache Tribe and admitted to practice law in both Arizona and on the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

During his time as a commissioner, Titla has been a strong advocate for increased voter education and outreach among tribal communities and rural areas.

“Every voter, no matter where they are in the state, should have access to critical election information. From how to register, how to get a ballot and how to cast an informed vote, the Commission is charged with promoting participating in the political process. I welcome the opportunity to lead the Commission in 2017 and to strengthen our education program for all voters,” Titla said.

Voters passed the Citizens Clean Elections Act in 1998 to promote participation in the political process and to ensure Arizona’s politics are free from corruption. The act includes administration of voter education and clean funding programs.

The commission is an independent state body made up of individuals who have sworn to faithfully administer the Clean Elections Act.  Commissioners are appointed alternatively by the governor and the highest ranking official of the opposite party. Commissioners must not have served in, or run for, public office for five years, nor have been an officer of a political party. No more than two members of the commission may be from any one party or county. Currently, the Commission is made up of two Republicans, two Democrats and one Independent.