By Daniel Stefanski |
Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs is again facing stiff opposition to one of her nominees for leadership with a state agency.
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Director Nominations voted to reject Martín Quezada’s appointment to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
The committee’s action now puts Quezada’s nomination in jeopardy with the full Senate expected to take up the recommendation in the coming days.
During the hearing, former legislator Adam Kwasman, who appeared to be in attendance, tweeted his strong opposition to Quezada’s confirmation, writing, “The Arizona Senate must soundly reject the nomination of Martín Quezada as the director of the RoC. He has demonstrated, in his political career a consistent, radical anti-Jewish viewpoint. He is one of this state’s BDS leaders. Such bigotry has no place in any administration.”
After the conclusion of the hearing, the panel’s three Republicans shared their thoughts in a press release transmitted by the Senate Republican Caucus. Chairman Jake Hoffman stated, “Mr. Quezada has a history at the Arizona Legislature of spreading antisemitism, which prompted the Israel Heritage Foundation to send Katie Hobbs a letter calling for his termination as ROC Director. What’s equally disturbing are his continual, on-the-record comments made while serving as a legislator regarding hiring and firing practices. According to Mr. Quezada, qualifications for a job are determined by skin color, gender, religion and political affiliation. This is not a philosophy any state agency should ever adopt. The fact that Katie Hobbs is turning a blind eye to this is certainly more indicative of ‘chaos’ and not the ‘sanity’ she promised after taking office.”
Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope added, “The ROC can ultimately make or break the livelihoods of contractors within our state, so it’s important to choose a leader who supports entrepreneurs in their quest to serve our citizens responsibly and honorably. Unfortunately, during his tenure in the Legislature, Mr. Quezada developed a track record of voting against small businesses 82% of the time, according to data released from NFIB. We can’t in good faith sign off on a director who has a history of voting against the community in which he’s tasked with serving.”
And Senate Majority Whip Sine Kerr said, “Some of the more disappointing moments from today’s committee highlighted Mr. Quezada’s baseless and hateful accusations against Republicans as a whole. The ROC Director must be able to work with contractors of all races, genders, religions and political affiliations for the betterment of our state. Unfortunately, Mr. Quezada’s extremist views should automatically disqualify him from serving in this role. I would also argue that any politician who states they don’t believe they need to keep promises made to their constituents is not someone to be trusted in any capacity.”
Hobbs nominated Quezada on January 23, writing, “I have full confidence that the expertise represented in this group of leaders will bring us closer to an Arizona that works for everyone. These directors will rise to both the challenges and opportunities in their departments and in our state.”
The Senate Committee on Director Nominations was formed by Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen earlier in the year and was “tasked with gathering information and evaluating qualifications on the governor’s executive appointments in order to recommend a course of action for the Senate to take on each individual.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.