Katie Hobbs marginalizes herself after failed power play against Arizona Chamber

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs became the subject of ridicule this week after a failed power play against the state’s largest business association left her alone and marginalized ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is scheduled to host its annual Legislative Forecast Luncheon this morning at Chase Field. Speakers at the high-profile event include statewide elected officials from both political parties, including Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Republican Treasurer Kimberly Yee.

But Hobbs, whose skittish public persona has left some uncomfortable, won’t be showing up.

Rumors had been circulating for weeks that the Democrat was threatening to skip the event as leverage against an organization that she views as too close to Republicans, with anonymous sources — who could that be? — suggesting in December that “the Chamber needs to do something to show” Hobbs more respect before she’d accept the invitation.

The governor’s team has now formally declined the invitation, citing scheduling conflicts, two days before the event — and it’s not going how she planned. On Thursday, a railbird told the Yellow Sheet Report that the failed power play has left Hobbs looking “incredibly weak” at the Arizona Capitol and that she has “basically given up a huge leadership opportunity and handed it over to Adrian [Fontes] to be the guy.”

In fact, the Arizona Chamber announced after Hobbs’s decision that Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes will be speaking at the luncheon, too.

Hobbs’s most recent public event was a private inauguration ceremony, where she banned reporters and was “unable to take the oath of office without stammering and laughing.” Prior to that, the Democrat attended the Western Governors’ Association’s annual winter meeting, where she accidentally fell asleep on stage.