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Arizona State Legislature
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Forty-ninth Legislature - First Regular Session
  Christopher Deschene

Christopher Deschene

District 2

House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington
Room 325
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone Number: (602) 926-5862
Fax Number: (602) 417-3102


Personal Information:

Home City:St. Michaels, Arizona
Member Since: 2009

Christopher Clark Deschene was born in Southern California where his parents were relocated during the 1960’s government relocation efforts. Chris’ mother grew up in a small reservation community in Northern Arizona called Dennehotso. She was raised with strong cultural principals of family and education. Chris’ father was born and raised in the remote areas north of Tuba City, Arizona where he learned to be resourceful and creative. Both parents learned early of the value of education and hard work.

Before Chris was 1 year old, his parents left Southern California to raise their family on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Arizona. There, Chris grew up to become a model straight-A student, a varsity athlete, and a National Honor Society member. Respecting his father’s wishes, Chris also learned to master the welding trade to balance his education. Because Chris worked tirelessly in high school, he obtained an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1989.

At the US Naval Academy

When Chris arrived at the United States Naval Academy, he began his indoctrination to professional leadership. With high military rankings, Chris was a natural leader with command positions throughout his military career. Graduating in 1993 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as a 2nd LT., Chris volunteered to serve with the United State Marine Corps after Annapolis. But, before attending the Marine Basic School, Chris put his engineering skills to work at the National Laboratory in Livermore, California as a military research engineer.

As a US Marine

A consummate professional, Chris commanded and led from the front with the infantry and reconnaissance units during the 1990s. In 1995 and 1997, Chris served with distinction overseas with missions in the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In 1998, Chris now a Captain, served as the Executive Officer for a Reconnaissance Company with more than 160 Marines. After leaving active duty, Chris pursued a graduate education in law and engineering in 2001. Two years later in 2003, Chris promoted to Major, USMCR, ended his career with the Marine Corps Reserves.

Graduate School

Chris went on to earn his law degree from Arizona State University in 2005 where he earned concurrently a Masters of Science Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in renewable and alternative energy development. While in law school, Chris served as a legal associate in the United States Senate, and for Washington DC and Phoenix law firms alike. He was elected as the President of the National Native American Law Student Association during his final year and subsequently, reorganized the national organization into a professional student lead body with continuing projects that benefit many communities locally, regionally, and nationally today.

Tribal Attorney

After graduate school, Chris co-founded the Law Office of Schaff & Clark Deschene, LLC to practice as a tribal energy attorney for tribes throughout the United States. With his law firm, Chris helps tribal communities develop much needed infrastructure and economies with their natural and energy resources. He is quite familiar with small business considerations, rural economic development, and tribal and non-tribal politics regarding business, law, and government. He now speaks nationally on tribal energy issues and helps shape nationally tribal policies that bring together tribal and non-tribal partners.

Political Career

Chris has always been a community organizer at heart. Prior to law school, Chris helped organized the Phoenix Urban Indian Summit Youth Conference in 2001 and 2002. During that same period, Chris received invaluable training to help run community organizing projects. However, Chris learned from this advocacy work that true change generally entails politics. This eventually led him to become active with the Arizona Democratic Party as the Apache County Democratic Party Chair and the Chair of the Native American Democratic Caucus. Both organizations formally organized and began operating under his tenure. Earlier this year, Chris ran and was selected to be a pledged delegate for Senator Obama to the Democratic National Convention later this summer.

In short, all his experiences have shaped his journey to this day. Because of his commitment to his communities, Chris believes that he can best serve the interests and concerns for Northern Arizonans. He believes in strong leadership that is collaborative, informative, and accountable. Chris has a rich history of service and uniting varying interests to pursue common goals. He is no stranger to challenges and difficulties, and seeks to find balance in solving issues. This means working with Democrats and Republicans, rural and urban communities, and between friends and foes. Despite all of his success and experience, Chris is most proud of his family, his wife and his son. Chris is a strong leader with a strong voice dedicated to all Northern Arizonans.


Committee Assignments
Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Member Click Here Click Here
Water and Energy Member Click Here Click Here



Sponsored Bills
Bill NumberSort By Bill Number
Sponsor TypeSort By Sponsor Type
Short TitleSort By Short Title
Final Vote
HB2293 P teacher loan program; geographic shortages
HB2337 P energy standards; buildings; contracting
  (NOW: energy efficient buildings
HB2338 C energy; fuels; idling
HB2432 C school board membership; family members
HB2453 C law enforcement merit system; membership
HB2464 C tenant notice; foreclosures
HB2469 C aggressive dogs; muzzles
HB2495 C in-state tuition; veterans
HB2521 C university tuition; fund sweeps; prohibition
HB2526 P* veterans' organizations; solicitations
HB2527 P* ELL; Native American languages; exception
HB2528 P* preexisting condition exclusion; pregnancy
HB2529 P* energy policy study committee
HB2579 C presidential preference election; independent voters
HB2588 C insurance; adult children; continued coverage
HB2606 C civil rights; discrimination; employment
HCM2008 P* economically depressed area; Navajo nation
HR2001 C David Hurt; death resolution
SB1114 P Indian affairs commission; legislative day
SB1312 C perinatal mood disorder study committee
SB1410 C schools; harassment; bullying; protected classes.
SB1451 P prioritize repairs; county roads
SB1452 P prioritize repairs; state highways
SB1454 P Native American Tribes; revenue sharing
SB1455 P revenue sharing; tribal community colleges
SB1456 P state transportation board; tribal representation
SCR1029 C perinatal mood disorders
SM1001 C Navajo Nation; child support payments


P* = Prime Prime Sponsor, P = Prime Sponsor, C = Co-Sponsor