By Elinor Brecher, Editor, LD9, PC Precinct 214
Last month’s newsletter mistakenly ran Ted Prezelski’s photo with a brief that his brother, Tom, wrote. We immediately issued a mea culpa to all concerned, but we want to acknowledge the goof here with a short primer on what’s no less than a Pima County Democratic Party dynasty.
Ted and Tom, identical twins, are both 6-foot-2, so the easiest way to tell them apart is hair. Tom has a beard and a pony tail; Ted is clean shaven with short hair. We won’t make that mistake again!
Knowing your Prezelskis must start with Tom and Ted’s mother, Carmen, a PCDP fixture for decades. She has been a PCDP chair, LD 9 chair, and a headquarters volunteer. She was a delegate at five of the six presidential nominating conventions she attended.
Carmen says she was “born into Democratic politics,’’ and so were her sons, on Jan. 12, 1970: Thomas Edward Prezelski Jr., first; Theodore Edmond Prezelski three minutes later.
“My dad was very politically-minded,’’ says Carmen, 73.
Dad was Francisco Villa, a homesteader born in the Arizona Territory in 1898. Her mother, Matilde, was orphaned young in Tucson. Carmen was the last of their 10 children, two of whom died.
Carmen is married to Thomas Edward Prezelski, Sr., a retired U.S. Air Force senior master sergeant known as Sarge or Ski.
She says she was the first person in Arizona to attend college – the University of Arizona – on the federal work-study program. She spent most of her working life at UA, and wrote a column for the Tucson Citizen about cultural history, culture, and Mexican-American food.
Last year, the Arizona Democratic Party inducted Carmen into its Hall of Fame, honoring her long service to the party.
“I was surprised to have gotten it,’’ she said. “I see myself as a workaday Democrat.’’
Ted handles constituent services for Ward 2 Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham. He attended UA and Prescott College, ran former Arizona Sen. Marsha Arzberger’s first legislative campaign in 2000, and served as Arizona field director for Gen. Wesley Clark’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Ted was an oblate at Tucson’s now-shuttered Benedictine Monastery, and is single. For a decade, he wrote a well-regarded political blog, and he still does sports interviews for a Phoenix television station.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors appointed Tom to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2003 to fill a District 29 vacancy. He subsequently won two elections before losing a primary.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from UA and has been a planner for the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. An amateur historian and historical reenacter, Tom writes history articles for Pima County and penned the book, The Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West, 1863–1866 (University of Oklahoma Press).
He lives in LD2 and like his twin, he’s single.