Gov. Katie Hobbs shakes up top staff

Screenshot Gov. Katie Hobbs delivers her first State of the State Address || ACIT

By Stacey Barchenger || The Arizona Republic

Less than three months into her term as Arizona’s 24th governor, Democrat Katie Hobbs’ administration late Friday afternoon announced a shakeup among top aides.

The changes include the departure of Hobbs’ communications director, a role swap for two top policy- and constituent-focused staffers, and the creation of a new deputy chief of staff position.

Hobbs’ Chief of Staff Allie Bones said the changes were akin to typical growing pains for a new governor and not connected to a tumultuous week that saw the resignation of Hobbs’ press secretary become a national news story.

“We’ve hired somewhere between 40 and 50 people in the beginning of this administration,” Bones said. “That’s a lot of people, and you kind of need to evaluate and assess as you go along and figure out, how are we best working together and maximizing this team? And we see this as the best maximization of everyone and where their strengths are.”

Will Gaona, who was hired as Hobbs’ director of public affairs, will take on a newly created role as deputy chief of staff, working internally to help coordination between departments within the Governor’s Office.

Jennifer Loredo will become Hobbs’ director of policy, legislative and intergovernmental affairs, while Tracy Lopes will serve as director of community and constituent engagement. Loredo and Lopes, both of whom were hired by Hobbs before she was sworn into office Jan. 2, are essentially swapping roles, Bones said.

Allie Bones is the Vice-Chair of Arizona Complete Count Committee and Assistant Secretary of State.

Director of Communications Murphy Hebert, who had worked for Hobbs while Hobbs was secretary of state, also is being replaced. Bones said Hebert’s departure was a mutual decision, and they were “working through where she best fits in the organization” outside of the Governor’s Office.

“It was a mutual decision that this was what’s in the best interest of the administration moving forward,” Bones said.


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