By Sarah Mayhew

Arizona Daily Wildcat

PHOENIX _ The director of a statewide student lobbying group will step down from his post this summer.

Patrick McWhortor, executive director of the Arizona Students' Association, has been the group's director for two years, which student lobbyists say is a long time to serve.

McWhortor, 29, said he is leaving without another position lined up.

"It's time for me to move on," he said, adding that he was hoping to have another job by the time the students hire a new director.

"Whoever we hire has got really big shoes to fill," said T.J. Trujillo, president-elect of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Trujillo was a student lobbyist this year and will serve with the group again next year as part of his new office.

"He's excellent at what he does," Trujillo said.

And Mary Pisaneschi, a student lobbyist from the UA branch campus at Sierra Vista, said "I wish he'd stay."

"He goes over and beyond what he needs to do for us (in collecting information and mediating the meetings)," Pisaneschi said.

McWhortor said the job has been time-consuming and he wants to spend more time with his family. He is married and has 3-year-old and 9-month-old sons.

The position pays about $22,000 a year, plus a bonus that is decided upon by the student lobbyists during the summer. Last year, McWhortor received a $2,000 bonus, Trujillo said.

He will complete his master's degree in public administration at Arizona State University in December and said he would like to remain in the state.

McWhortor's history with the lobbyists began in 1988-89 when he served as the student member of the Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University.

Regent Andrew Hurwitz said while he is sorry to see him go, McWhortor's resignation was expected.

He said the board recognized that McWhortor would probably take on the position for a year or two as the pay is low.

ASA members said they are worried about finding a suitable replacement for McWhortor because he knows the board and the Legislature well.

"He's got the history," said Jenny Garcia, president of the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University. "I don't know if we really have anyone who's qualified to replace him." Read Next Article