In her inaugural address on Thursday, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs will lay out her plans for the next four years, ushering in a period of split government and the rise of the Democratic Party in a state long dominated by Republicans. In Phoenix In her inaugural address on Thursday, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs will lay out her plans for the next four years, ushering in a period of split government and the rise of the Democratic Party in a state long dominated by Republicans.
Since the state constitution’s power transfer on Monday, Hobbs has been the governor. At the customary inaugural held at the state Capitol every four years, she will take the oath of office again in front of the public on Thursday.
As secretary of state, Hobbs gained notoriety for vehemently defending the validity of the 2020 election against efforts by former president Donald Trump and his allies to annul the results or make unfounded claims of widespread fraud.
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By contrasting herself favorably against Republican Kari Lake, a former television anchor who embraced Trump’s election lies and garnered international media attention, she narrowly gained office in November.
Hobbs takes over in a state that is financially stable, has a robust economy, and is expected to have a sizable budget surplus in the upcoming fiscal year. However, there will soon be headwinds.
In spite of Arizona’s reputation as an affordable state, Phoenix has some of the worst rates of inflation in the country, and housing costs have increased as a result of fast population expansion that has outpaced home building. Furthermore, drought limits the water supply.
Hobbs, a former state lawmaker, worked his way up to become the leading Democrat in the Senate. As governor, she will have to cooperate with a House and Senate that Republicans narrowly control.
After some moderate Republicans in the House and Senate lost their primaries or decided not to seek reelection, the GOP caucuses will shift to the right. Their replacements are a new group of legislators eager for a fight not only with Democrats but also with more moderate Republicans.
The first meeting of the new Legislature is scheduled for next Monday. In a letter to Hobbs, outgoing Republican governor Doug Ducey declared that being governor “is the greatest job in politics and an enormous responsibility. I have faith that you’ll do the people of Arizona proud.
The election of Hobbs is the most recent triumph for Democrats in Arizona since Kyrsten Sinema’s win to the U.S. Senate in 2018. Sinema was a Democrat back then, but she turned independent after enraging a sizable portion of her party’s supporter base.
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For the first time in decades, Democrats currently hold both U.S. Senate seats, and the positions of governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. As she continues her legal battle contesting the election results and making claims on social media that elections are rigged, Lake has refused to concede.
A judge in Maricopa County dismissed Lake’s argument that election officials in the state’s most populous county engaged in deliberate misconduct that tainted the results.
For a new governor learning the job, the first two weeks are hectic. Hobbs will deliver the state of the state address on Monday, only days after delivering her inauguration speech, and then on Friday, she will provide her first budget plan.
She has been concentrating on building up her government in the interim, naming a number of new state agency heads in recent weeks and stating she will keep other employees who were first employed by Ducey.
Hours after taking office, Hobbs issued her first executive order with the goal of banning discrimination against state workers and contractors. Water, border security, accessibility to healthcare, cost-effectiveness, workforce development, and education are among her stated goals.
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