Where is Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs?

On Wednesday night, Arizona Republican Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced she would be acting governor from the evening until mid-day Thursday:

While I am pleased to step in this role, I will refrain from naming directors to the 13 agencies that currently have vacancies and will not call the Arizona Legislature into session to confirm them. That being said, I do hope when the Governor returns to Arizona, she will promptly name qualified directors to these important state agencies and remve the legal uncertainty that exists for all of the regulatory actions taken by the agencies. I expect to see a swift resolution to this matter, so we can get back to getting the work done for Arizona taxpayers. The people of Arizona deserve leaders who follow the rule of law.

What is going on?!

First off, Yee being put in charge means Hobbs and others are out of the state because Yee is third in line to the governorship.

Arizona doesn’t have a lieutenant governor.

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, is first in line. Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, is second in line. Then, the state’s treasurer.

From what I can tell, the disappearance of Hobbs and the other two could be because of the Senate and the confirmation of agency directors.

Hobbs withdrew the nominations of 13 potential agency directors because of supposed obstruction.

Hobbs appointed them as “executive deputy directors” to get around Senate confirmation.

The Arizona Senate worked like the U.S. Senate concerning nominations. The vetting took place in front of the relevant committee. If the nominee passes the committee, the person goes to the full Senate.

However, Senate President Warren Peterson, a Republican, formed the Committee on Director Nominees to vet Hobbs’ nominees.

I have to admit the new way is weird. It’s suspicious Peterson did this just as the state voted in its first Democratic governor in 14 years.

Some nominees haven’t had their time in front of the committee. The committee rejected many nominees, causing Hobbs to withdraw their nominations.

Hobbs won’t send any nominations to the Senate until it returns to the old format.

Yee said Hobbs making them “executive deputy directors” is illegal. Therefore, Yee won’t recognize them.

Yee refused to allow those appointed to the position in the Department of Administration and the Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions since they are not directors:

Lawyers for the Treasurer’s Office and outside counsel advised her that the legal status of the employees as agency bosses was now “murky,” which led her to “not recognize” two of Hobbs’ appointees as at a State Board of Investment meeting, Yee told The Arizona Republic Wednesday.

As a result, she said, the two appointees — Barbara Richardson of the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions and Elizabeth Thorson of the Arizona Department of Administration — could not participate in the meeting.

“This absence of a lawfully appointed director to serve from these two agencies create legal uncertainty,” Yee said. “It really does jeopardize the proceedings of the State Board of Investment and will continue to do so until the governor reinstalls legitimate directors into these positions.”

Or is Hobbs and the others gone because President Joe Biden is in Phoenix?

I doubt that. Even though I wouldn’t blame Hobbs and any other Democrat for not wanting to be around Biden.


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