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Walter Blackman
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives


Incumbent
Assumed office
January 14, 2019
Serving with Bob Thorpe
Preceded by Brenda Barton
Personal details
Born Portugal
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kristi Blackman
Children 2
Residence Snowflake, Arizona, U.S.
Alma mater Almeda University (BS)
Georgetown University (GrDip)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 21

Walter "Walt" Blackman is an American politician serving as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives for District 6 since January 14, 2019.[1][2] He is the first black Republican elected to the Arizona Legislature. Blackman served 21 years in the United States Army, earning a Bronze Star for combat action as a tank commander in Iraq.

Early life and education[]

Blackman was born on an Army base in Portugal; his father was a United States Air Force pilot.[3] He was raised in Wiesbaden, Germany.[4][5]

He has a Bachelor's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Almeda University, which he attended from 2009 to 2012. Blackman also has an advanced certification in Program Management from Georgetown University.[5][6]

Career[]

Blackman served in the United States Army for 21 years as a front line tank commander, and a sexual harassment and assault prevention Senior Program Manager specialist.[4][7] He earned a Bronze Star for combat action in Iraq, and a Meritorious Service Medal.[6] From 2016 to 2018, he was the founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of WB Inclusion and Diversity Consulting Firm, LLC in Snowflake.[5][6][8]

Political career[]

Blackman was elected in 2018 to succeed term-limited Arizona State Representative Brenda Barton as a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 6.[1][2] He is the first black Republican elected to the Arizona Legislature.[4][6][9] He supports criminal justice reform.[10] He is Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Earned Release Credits for Prisoners, Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Vice Chair of the State and International Affairs Committee, and a Member of the Education Commission of the States, Government Committee, and Regulatory Affairs Committee.[5][6] He is a constitutional conservative.[6] In February 2020, the Arizona House unanimously approved a bill he proposed that will give all non-violent offense state prisoners time off their sentences if they work in prison, or take drug treatment or major self-improvement courses in prison.[11]

Commenting on the George Floyd killing and also highlighting Floyd's criminal record, Blackman said on Facebook: "I DO NOT support George Floyd and I refuse to see him as a martyr. But I hope his family receives justice.”[9][10][12][13] In reaction, the American Friends Services Committee-Arizona and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona said they would not work with him.[14]<[15]

Personal life[]

He and his wife have two children.[8] His wife works at the Northern Arizona Council of Government.[8]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Johnson, Michael (December 22, 2017). "Snowflake vet enters race for LD6 seat". White Mountain Independent. https://www.wmicentral.com/news/heber_overgaard/snowflake-vet-enters-race-for-ld-seat/article_11bf8b4c-c28f-56b7-b9f9-f4997cff31a3.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zorn, Dave (August 28, 2018). "Thorpe, Blackman Move on in State Legislative District 6 Race". KAFF News. https://gcmaz.com/thorpe-blackman-move-on-in-state-legislative-district-6-race/. 
  3. Jon Hecht (2018-11-20). "Representative-elect Blackman seeks accountability at legislature". JournalAZ.com. http://www.journalaz.com/news/yavapai-county/37629-representative-elect-blackman-seeks-accountability-at-legislature.html. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Campbell, Katie (December 24, 2018). "Walt Blackman: A graduate of ‘Real World U’". Arizona Capitol Times. https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2018/12/24/walt-blackman-a-graduate-of-real-world-u/. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Walt Blackman's Biography". Justfacts.votesmart.org. https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/biography/184551/walt-blackman. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 "House Member Walter Blackman". Azleg.gov. https://www.azleg.gov/house-member/?legislature=54&legislator=1895. 
  7. "Who is Walt Blackman?". Walt Blackman – Candidate for Arizona. https://www.blackman4az.com/about-walt. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "State Financial Disclosure Statement," March 16, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Black Arizona Legislator Calling Black Lives Matter 'Terrorist' Group". Arizona Daily Independent. June 5, 2020. https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2020/06/05/black-arizona-legislator-draws-criticism-after-calling-black-lives-matter-terrorist-group/. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rosenblatt, Dillon (June 4, 2020). "Black lawmaker calls BLM a terrorist organization". Arizona Capitol Times. https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/06/04/black-lawmaker-calls-blm-a-terrorist-organization/. 
  11. Bob Christie (February 27, 2020). "House OKs Bill Letting Non-Violent Inmates Earn Time Off," US News & World Report.
  12. Maria Polletta and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez (June 5, 2020). "Black GOP legislator Walter Blackman draws criticism after calling Black Lives Matter 'terrorist' group". Arizona Republic. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2020/06/05/black-gop-legislator-criticism-blm-terrorist/3149272001/. 
  13. Stern, Ray (June 4, 2020). "Arizona Rep. Walt Blackman: George Floyd Is 'Not a Hero,' BLM Is a 'Terrorist Organization'". https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/arizona-republican-lawmaker-walt-blackman-says-george-floyd-is-not-a-hero-11473777. 
  14. Polletta, Maria. "African American GOP legislator draws sharp criticism after calling Black Lives Matter 'terrorist' group". https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2020/06/05/black-gop-legislator-criticism-blm-terrorist/3149272001/. 
  15. "Criminal Justice Reform Group Cuts Ties With GOP Lawmaker Over George Floyd Comments". June 6, 2020. https://patch.com/arizona/across-az/criminal-justice-reform-group-cuts-ties-gop-lawmaker-over-george-floyd-comments. 

External links[]

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