Arizona Corporation Commission position changes hands

May 30, 2019, 4:15 PM
Andy Tobin and Lea Marquez Peterson (Twitter Photos/@dougducey)...
Andy Tobin and Lea Marquez Peterson (Twitter Photos/@dougducey)
(Twitter Photos/@dougducey)

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey appointed a Tucson business leader to the Arizona Corporation Commission to replace Andy Tobin, who moved into a new position.

Tobin, a former state House speaker, resigned from the Corporation Commission to become director of the Department of Administration, Ducey announced Thursday.

Ducey chose Lea Marquez Peterson, former CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to fill the vacancy.

The selection of Marquez Peterson, the Republican who lost to Ann Kirkpatrick in a 2018 U.S. House race, did not go over well with the Arizona Democratic Party, which took to Twitter to express its displeasure.

Her appointment was better received among the state’s business community, garnering praise from Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer and others.

Hamer also had good things to say about Tobin, calling him “one of the all-time great public servants in Arizona’s history.”

Tobin joined the Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s utilities, in 2016 after Ducey selected him to replace Susan Bitter Smith, who resigned from the elected position.

The Republican was elected to a full four-year term later that year.

Previously, Tobin served in the state House from 2006 to 2015. He also worked as director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and interim director of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.

“His passion for public service is unmatched and his understanding of state regulatory and administrative policy will serve the Department of Administration well as we continue to streamline and improve government,” Ducey said of Tobin in a press release.

Elizabeth Thorson had been serving as as interim director of the ADOA, the state’s administrative and business operations hub, since February following the resignation of Craig Brown.

“I am excited to hit the ground running and get started working with the team at ADOA and throughout state government to best serve the taxpayers and the people of Arizona,” Tobin said in the release.

According to the press release on Marquez Peterson’s appointment, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce grew to become the largest Latino business organization in Arizona while she was CEO from 2009 to 2018.

“As an entrepreneur, she knows firsthand the challenges businesses face navigating a complex government bureaucracy and will bring a fresh perspective on the commission,” Ducey said in the release.

Marquez Peterson was sworn in Thursday.

Per the state constitution, her position will be contested in the 2020 general election.

“I look forward to drawing on my experience in the business community as a voice for all Arizonans,” she said in the release.

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Arizona Corporation Commission position changes hands