By Daniel Stefanski |
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs pressed rewind on another agency nomination before facing an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the state senate.
On Monday, the Senate Committee on Director Nominations revealed that Governor Hobbs had withdrawn the nomination of Martin Quezada to be the Director for the Registrar of Contractors (ROC). The governor’s action came after her selection for ROC had been rejected by the Senate Committee, which had been established by President Warren Petersen to vet appointments to head state agencies.
In her letter to Petersen, Governor Hobbs noted that “Director Quezada demonstrated dignity, professionalism, and a deep commitment to public service throughout his tenure leading the Registrar of Contractors.” Hobbs claimed that her nominee “requested that his nomination be withdrawn after the disappointing and inappropriate nomination hearing he endured.”
Senator Jake Hoffman, the chairman of the powerful committee, issued a statement after the governor’s move came to light, highlighting the importance of his panel to ensure that Arizonans are well served by the men and women who lead various agencies. Hoffman said, “Mr. Quezada’s nomination is a prime example of why the Senate Committee on Director Nominations is crucial to ensuring only the most highly qualified candidates will serve as leaders of our critically important state agencies, which impact the safety, health and livelihoods of all Arizona citizens. Through our thorough vetting process, we’ve been able to weed out inappropriate partisan appointments by Katie Hobbs, like Mr. Quezada, while also identifying experienced, accomplished, professional and highly qualified nominees such as Ms. Susan Nicolson for the Department of Real Estate and Mr. Ryan Thornell for the Department of Corrections. Our committee is committed to protecting the public by conducting our due diligence in evaluating these potential state agency leaders.”
According to the Senate’s press release, “concerning information came to light about Mr. Quezada during the May 31st hearing, which led to the recommendation of rejection, including his frequent comments and behaviors supporting antisemitism, racism, and his intolerance for individuals based on skin color, gender, religion and political affiliation.” The announcement also highlighted that Quezada “developed a voting history while serving in the Legislature against small businesses, which is the very community he would have been tasked with serving.”
After the Senate Committee on Director Nominations rejected Quezada’s appointment by the governor, the chamber’s President Pro Tempore, T.J. Shope, indicated that Quezada’s legislative record when it came to small businesses played a significant part in the panel’s decision, saying, “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.”
Hobbs now goes back to the drawing board to resubmit a new nomination for ROC to the Arizona Senate for hopeful confirmation.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.