VIDEO: Katie Hobbs struck “deal” with teachers union “before we endorsed her”

PHOENIX — A lobbyist for the Arizona Education Association acknowledged Wednesday during a private event that Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs struck a “deal” with the teachers union during her gubernatorial race.

Marisol Garcia, who has been a registered lobbyist for the union since 2016, made the comments at a private “Legislative Preview” event last week, according to audio and video obtained by

Referring to Hobbs as the union’s “ally on the Ninth Floor,” the lobbyist acknowledged that she and her client spoke with the Democrat about their agenda “before we endorsed her” and that “so far she is living up to that deal.” Hobbs recently called for the permanent repeal of the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL) and said that funding for the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program would “bust our budget.”

“We have always, always been against any sort of vouchers — not just expansion, but vouchers in essence,” Garcia added during the event.

Other speakers included Democratic Senator Christine Marsh, who described control of the Governor’s Office as “a game-changer” for Democratic lawmakers, and AEA Legislative Liaison Isela Blanc, who said that “having Hobbs” is the “key” to the union’s agenda.

Hobbs herself filmed a special video for the event in which she thanked the union “for everything you did” to elect her. The Democrat named Garcia and Stephanie Parra, a former AEA lobbyist, to her transition team in November.