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Senate President Petersen sues Hobbs over director nominations

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(The Center Square) – Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen is suing Gov. Katie Hobbs over her decision to let deputy directors lead state agencies to avoid dealing with the Senate Committee on Director Nominations.

As several of her nominees have not made it past the committee, Hobbs named agency heads as “Executive Deputy Directors” to avoid confirmation by the Senate. The committee was formed by the Republican-led Senate earlier this year to add an extra vetting step for the Democratic administration.

The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, alleges that Hobbs cannot flout the Senate process.

“In refusing to nominate agency directors and bypassing the Senate’s advice and consent processes, the Governor has violated a binding statutory directive, acted in excess of her lawful authority, and failed to perform a nondiscretionary duty—i.e., promptly presenting nominees for agency directorships to the Senate for its advice and consent— imposed upon her by state law,” the lawsuit states.

Christian Slater, communications director for Hobbs, told The Center Square in a statement that the committee chaired by Sen. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, is merely a political tactic aimed at making governance more difficult.

“Extremists like Jake Hoffman would rather engage in partisan attacks to push their radical political agenda than work across the aisle to support Veterans, grow jobs and invest in small businesses, and protect Arizona children,” Slater stated.

“Arizonans want sanity, not chaos caused by radical obstructionists. After Jake Hoffman and the Senate’s refusal to meaningfully do their job, Governor Hobbs took lawful action to fulfill her duties and ensure Arizonans can continue to rely on critical services from state agencies. She stands ready to work with anybody in the Senate who is serious about putting the political games aside and delivering for everyday Arizonans, and as she’s said from day one, she remains open to a fair and timely process for confirmation of nominees,” he continued.

However, Hoffman said in a statement that the lawsuit, more specifically known as a “verified special action complaint,” has to do with a lack of cooperation.

“Katie Hobbs has demonstrated a childish refusal to work with anyone not in the far-left political spectrum, and a total disdain for following the law,” Hoffman said. “Her decision to grind Arizona to an operational standstill rather than follow Arizona law is possibly the saddest commentary on Democrats’ seriousness yet.”

“She’s made it abundantly clear to voters that Democrats care more about playing petulant political games and throwing temper tantrums than actually governing. Republicans, on the other hand, are committed to creating a government that works for every Arizonan,” Hoffman added.

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