Arizona Democratic Party rejects Katie Hobbs-backed candidate in chairman race

PHOENIX — Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs was dealt another blow this weekend after her hand-picked candidate lost the race to become state party’s next chair.

The Arizona Democratic Party voted Saturday in support of naming Yolanda Bejarano as chairwoman by a margin of 440 to 186.

The loss marks another major political blow to Hobbs, who had spent months aggressively campaigning for the other candidate in the race, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo (a member of her transition team). In doing so, Hobbs marginalized herself from a number of high-profile elected Democrats — Mark Kelly, Adrian Fontes, Greg Stanton, and Ruben Gallego, among them — who were supporting Bejarano.

In the end, Hobbs’s choice didn’t even come close.

Her deteriorating relationship with Republican lawmakers and the business community — both resulting from failed power-plays instigated by Hobbs — on top of this weekend’s newest loss in the state party chair race leave Hobbs with few allies amid the ongoing legislative session.