Republican-led panel at Arizona Senate rejects former colleague for post in Hobbs administration

 Martín Quezada || Treasurer campaign photo

Stacey Barchenger

Arizona Republic

A trio of Republican senators grilled another of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ cabinet nominees, ultimately voting against confirmation of their former colleague whom Hobbs named to lead the state agency that licenses contractors.

With a 3-2 party line vote Wednesday, GOP members of the Senate’s Committee on Director Nominations rejected former Democratic state Sen. Martín Quezada as the head of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors after a hearing that again revealed the tensions of divided government at the state Capitol.

While Quezada repeatedly pledged to put his own progressive politics aside while leading the agency, Republican lawmakers questioned his background and whether he could remain nonpartisan.

The Registrar of Contractors is a small state agency, with about 100 employees and a $14 million budget that is predominantly funded by fees. The agency grants licenses to and regulates commercial and residential contractors. As of May 26, that included over 49,000 licenses, according to the Registrar of Contractors’ website.

Quezada pledged to work to address a shortage of workers, both by recruiting for apprenticeships and understanding the needs of contractors. Several trade associations that represent contractors and subcontractors supported Quezada’s confirmation.


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June 2023