Katie Hobbs fills transition team with lobbyists, campaign donors

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs announced the members of her incoming administration’s transition team on November 21, a roster that includes lobbyists and campaign donors.

The co-chairs of the transition team are Mike Haener and Monica Villalobos. Haener is a principal at the government relations firm Willetta Partners. Villalobos is the president and chief executive officer at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

There are at least 15 current and former lobbyists on the transition team: Haener, David Adame, Ron Butler, Chris Camacho, Chad Campbell, Coral Evans, Marisol Garcia, John Graham, Martin Harvier, Andy Kunasek, Jim McLaughlin, Peggy Neely, Jackie Norton, Tonya Norwood-Pearson, and Stephanie Parra. Their notable lobbying clients have included the Arizona Education Association (teachers union), Arizona State University, Chicanos Por La Causa, and various labor unions.

The transition team also includes at least 9 members who built up Hobbs’s campaign war chest. Haener, Neely, Norton, Norwood-Pearson, Sharon Harper, and Danny Ortega donated to Hobbs directly, while Graham, Harper, Adame, and John Giles hosted a fundraiser for the candidate on September 20.

The remaining members of the transition team not listed above are Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren, Marlene Galan-Woods, Steve Gallardo, Berdetta Hodge, Jen Longdon, Garrick McFadden, Lynne Pancrazi, Frank Piccioli, Regina Romero, Fabian Sandez, Alfred Urbina, Mary Rose Wilcox, and Bob Worsley.

Hobbs declared victory in the gubernatorial race on November 15 but has been accused of “deliberately” antagonizing lawmakers ahead of her inauguration.