Ducey pushes for bipartisanship, water reform in inaugural address

Some of the crowd for Monday's inaugural. The first two rows were for family members of elected officials, with other state, federal and foreign dignitaries in Row 3. And behind them were those who made donations to the inaugural committee to have seats in the reserved section; the bleachers at back were for those without tickets. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)
Some of the crowd for Monday’s inaugural. The first two rows were for family members of elected officials, with other state, federal and foreign dignitaries in Row 3. And behind them were those who made donations to the inaugural committee to have seats in the reserved section; the bleachers at back were for those without tickets. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

Gov. Doug Ducey kicked off four more years as Arizona’s governor Monday by welcoming two Democrats into the ranks of statewide officeholders with a message of bipartisanship and working together, especially on urgent issues like adopting a multi-state drought contingency plan.

Ducey also pledged during Arizona’s inauguration ceremony, in which six statewide officeholders were sworn into four-year terms, to build on the economic progress of his first term and hold the late Sen. John McCain as an example of public service.

The governor was sworn in for his second term along with Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Mine Inspector Joe Hart. Republican Kimberly Yee was sworn in as state treasurer and Democrats Katie Hobbs and Kathy Hoffman were sworn in as secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction, respectively.

Arizona’s elected officials should look to the state’s history when tackling major issues like the state’s water future, Ducey told the thousands of people who showed up to the inauguration ceremony at the state Capitol.

Hinting at the bipartisan approach former Republican Sens. Jon Kyl, Barry Goldwater and Democratic Sens. Carl Hayden and Morris Udall along with former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat, adopted when addressing state water issues, Ducey urged Republican and Democratic officials to rise above party to secure Arizona’s water future.

“Democrats and Republicans rose above party labels,” Ducey said. “They brought skeptical and reluctant stakeholders to the table. And they acted – and they did it with good faith and honest intentions.”

State lawmakers have been tasked with adopting a multi-state drought contingency plan to stabilize water levels in the Colorado River as Lake Mead sits on the brink of a water shortage. Federal officials set a deadline for the seven Colorado River Basin states to adopt the plan that divvies up water cutbacks by Jan. 31. If they don’t, the Bureau of Reclamation will take matters into its own hands.

Gov. Doug Ducey prepares to take his oath as his wife, Angela Ducey, holds a Bible at the governor’s inauguration Jan. 7. Their son, Jack Ducey, stands behind them. PHOTO BY KATIE CAMPBELL/ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES
Gov. Doug Ducey prepares to take his oath as his wife, Angela Ducey, holds a Bible at the governor’s inauguration Jan. 7. Their son, Jack Ducey, stands behind them. PHOTO BY KATIE CAMPBELL/ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES

On several occasions, Ducey has expressed his commitment to passing the drought contingency plan, even committing $30 million in state dollars to help Arizona water interests weather water cutbacks in order to boost water levels in Lake Mead. But Ducey’s clear commitment to water reforms in his inaugural address hint at what may well be his top priority once the legislative session gavels in next week.

Among his other, high-level priorities for his second term, Ducey doubled down on growing Arizona’s relationship with Mexico — the state’s top trading partner. He also promised to see through the teacher pay raises, spread out over three years, that he committed to last year.

Ducey also pledged not to raise taxes in the next four years, following up on a campaign promise he made ahead of his first term. Some Republican lawmakers have said Ducey went back on his “no taxes” pledge when he signed into law a new, $32-per-vehicle registration fee last year.

But the state’s economic picture is drastically different now than it was four years ago, which Ducey addressed in his remarks.

When Ducey entered office, Arizona was on the tail end of the Great Recession and the governor faced a $1 billion budget shortfall. Onstage, Ducey bragged that the state now has the largest projected budget surplus in a decade, which he attributed to economic growth, economic development efforts and keeping government from getting in the way of business.

“Arizona is open for business,” Ducey said. Government has gotten out of the way, the people are benefiting, and it’s going to stay that way.”

Ducey closed his speech with a nod to McCain and other former Arizona leaders — both Republicans and Democrats. He urged Arizona’s politicians to heed McCain’s motto of “country first” to create a state the late senator would be proud of.

The governor and his staff played an integral role in helping plan McCain’s memorial services last year. Ducey also spoke at an intimate ceremony for McCain’s friends and family when McCain was lying in state at the state Capitol.

“John McCain gave us the model for how public servants should carry out their duties – with honesty, integrity, compassion, and above all, a commitment to serving a cause greater than one’s self,” Ducey said.

Other statewide elected officials also gave brief remarks at the ceremony and some like newcomers Hoffman and Hobbs outlined some of their top priorities moving forward.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs takes her oath of office on Jan. 7, 2019. She is joined by her husband, Patrick Goodman, right, and her daughter, Hannah. (Not pictured: Hobbs' son, Sam.) PHOTO BY KATIE CAMPBELL/ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs takes her oath of office on Jan. 7, 2019. She is joined by her husband, Patrick Goodman, right, and her daughter, Hannah. (Not pictured: Hobbs’ son, Sam.) PHOTO BY KATIE CAMPBELL/ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES

Hobbs, who replaces Secretary of State Michele Reagan, pledged to create a cybersecurity task force to ensure elections security and oppose any efforts to restrict voting in the state.

As secretary of state, Hobbs is first in the state’s line of succession and Democrats’ highest statewide elected official. She pledged Monday to do everything she can to make it easier for Arizonans to vote.

“The greatest responsibility of this job is one that constitutes the heart of democracy — protecting the sacred right to vote for everyone who is eligible to do so,” she said.

As she takes the reins as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, Hoffman’s paid homage to public education.

She called for greater investment in the state’s public schools and competitive pay for everyone involved in public education — from teachers to support staff and beyond. She also pledged to conduct an audit of the Department of Education and explore ways to put an end to the state’s teacher shortage.

“Imagine if all our students, no matter their background and no matter their zip codes had the support and services they needed in their local school to be successful,” she said. Well, guess what? I’m done saying,’imagine if.’”

Brnovich and Yee both gave deeply personal speeches that referenced their families and their unique heritage.

Yee, who upon being sworn in today became the country’s first Republican Asian-American woman elected to a statewide office, talked about her ancestors first coming to the United States from China at the turn of the 20th century. At the time, they called the United States “Golden Mountain” because it represented a land of opportunity and prosperity.

“My parents taught me that I could be anything I wanted in in this great country,” she said.

Yee, Arizona’s new state treasurer, previously broke barriers as the first Asian-American woman to serve as Senate majority leader in the state Legislature.

While the other elected officials were sworn in by Chief Justice Scott Bales of the state Supreme Court, Brnovich was sworn in by his wife Susan Brnovich, who was recently named a U.S. district court judge.

Brnovich, upon being sworn in as the state’s top lawyer, talked about growing up in Arizona as a first-generation American whose family’s primary language was not English. Brnovich’s mother was born in Yugoslavia and came to the U.S. after WWII.

“Our family didn’t read about history, we lived history,” he said. “I think when that’s the case, you have a unique understanding and appreciation for how important the Constitution is and how important freedom is.”

But being attorney general isn’t about interpreting the Constitution and law how you want it to be, it’s about leveling the playing field and ensuring everyone plays by the rules, Brnovich said, rattling off highlights of his first term.

Four years ago, Republicans swept the statewide offices. Democrats Hobbs and Hoffman bring a new flavor to statewide elected offices and could create an environment of increased bipartisanship in state politics.

Hobbs keeps donations secret for inauguration events

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Democratic Arizona Governor-elect Katie Hobbs speaks at a victory rally on Nov. 15 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

By Bob Christie

Incoming Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is kicking off her term with a celebratory ball, a first for a new governor since Fife Symington had one in the 1990s.

But Hobbs, who touted transparency as part of her leadership, has refused to disclose which people or corporations are paying for the party.

And the lack of full public disclosure continues with her taking the oath of office on Monday. That event, four days before the ceremonial oath, will be closed to the public and media, with the exception of a pool news photographer.

And the costs of that Thursday ceremony are being picked up by special interests, including lobbyists, companies that do business with the state, developers and builders. But the new administration, while listing official “sponsors” for the event, has been unwilling to share how much each is paying for that privilege.

The incoming governor’s unwillingness to share details of the events publicly, how much they will cost, just who is paying and how much stand in contrast to her promise to make her administration “the most ethical and accountable” in history.

On her “katiehobbs.org” website, she vows to make state government more transparent, “because the people deserve to know what their leaders are doing with their money.”

That reticence to share information about the source and use of the funds, at least for now, is a change from the three previous administrations, which were open with the costs of the inauguration and related events – and the fundraising efforts needed to throw big bashes without spending too much of the taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.

When Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano took the oath of office in 2001, she collected $150,000 from donors and those attending four inaugural receptions, followed by public disclosures.

But that wasn’t enough to cover all the costs. So the state treasury also coughed up $50,000, mainly for renting and staffing the audio-visual equipment for the large-screen TVs that ensured even those in the back of the Capitol courtyard could see what was happening.

Republican Gov. Jan. Brewer’s 2011 inauguration was cheap by comparison as the state struggled with fallout from the Great Recession and cratered state revenue. The event cost $65,000, and expenses included renting the chairs and other necessities to house a large Capitol crowd and covered $13,000 worth of keepsake coins stamped with her likeness for guests.

Brewer raised $200,000 for the event and no tax dollars were used.

And the leftover cash was used to renovate the governor’s offices on the 9th floor of the executive tower.

Outgoing GOP Gov. Doug Ducey was inaugurated in 2014 and 2018, and both times he tapped special interests like lobbying firms and big businesses to pay for some of the costs.

The 2018 event brought in cash by selling off special seats. Acquiring a pair of VIP seats costs a minimum of $10,000, which also got entrance to a special reception. Bigger checks added a photo with Ducey, and a $25,000 payout netted six seats in the front rows, three parking passes, the reception and photos, inaugural pins for all six and corporate logos on programs and the inauguration website.

This year, however, Hobbs press aide Joe Wolf said no one will have to buy tickets to watch the Thursday ceremonies.

But that doesn’t mean the incoming governor isn’t tapping donors, special interests and firms that do business with the state.

A list of event sponsors on the official state inauguration web page leads with Arizona Public Service Co., suggesting the state’s biggest utility is the single largest donor.

The company may have some fence-mending to do with the new governor.

In 2021 it gave $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association. It hasn’t yet disclosed how much it spent in 2022.

And the RGA, in turn, financed millions of dollars in TV commercials attacking Hobbs, much of that accusing her of being lax on border enforcement.

Neither aides to Hobbs nor APS will disclose how much they are now donating to the ceremony, with the company instead saying only that it is joining with other Arizona businesses in supporting the new governor’s inauguration.

“This support is directed specifically to the 2023 gubernatorial inauguration committee, meaning it can be used in support of all inauguration functions,” the statement said. “This an important event for Arizona and its citizens; and we are pleased to be a participant.”

Others listed on the inaugural committee’s website as opening their checkbooks for the event – but with no amounts – include the insurers who provide state Medicaid services, a public affairs and consulting firm for the mining industry, developers, builders, lobbying firms and Hensley Beverage. Hensley is controlled by Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Sen. John McCain, who was the target of vitriol by Republican Kari Lake during her losing campaign against Hobbs.

“This is a private event not being paid for with public funds,”’ said Hobbs press aide Murphy Hebert when asked for specifics.

Other officials who take office Monday include Adrian Fontes, a Democrat who is replacing Hobbs as secretary of state, and Kris Mayes, who defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh for attorney general in what is believed to be the tightest win for a statewide office in Arizona history. Recount results opened in court on Thursday confirmed Mayes won by just 280 votes. She had been ahead by 511 votes out of about 2.5 million cast before a few hundred uncounted ballots were located during the recount.

Two Republicans also won statewide office and begin their terms Monday: Treasurer Kimberly Yee won a second term and Tom Horne defeated incumbent Kathy Hoffman and will become the state’s top K-12 school official as superintendent of public instruction.

While the number of guests expected for Thursday’s official inauguration hasn’t been released, it will be large. The state Department of Administration sent a memo to state workers warning of road closures, heavy traffic and tight parking availability, since many state lots will be cordoned off for those attending Hobbs’ inauguration.

To make room, state employees assigned to buildings in the Capitol complex are being “strongly encouraged” to avoid the office on Thursday and to instead work remotely.



Hobbs offers ‘open door’ for GOP lawmakers, but …

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs speaks after taking a ceremonial oath of office during a public inauguration at the state Capitol in Phoenix, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

At a public inauguration ceremony on Jan. 5, Gov. Katie Hobbs repeated the message she’s emphasized since winning election almost two months ago: she’s ready to work across the aisle with Republican lawmakers, within reason.

“Let me say unequivocally, to every elected official here today, that if you’re ready to make real progress on the issues that matter most to the people of this state, then my door will always be open,” Hobbs said.

“Let me also say just as clearly,” she continued, “that chasing conspiracy theories, pushing agendas for special interests, attacking the rights of your fellow Arizonans, or seeking to further undermine our democracy will lead nowhere.”

Hobbs is the state’s first Democratic governor since former Gov. Janet Napolitano left office in 2009, and she’ll have to work with a Legislature that’s ruled by slim Republican majorities in both houses. After running as a moderate, Hobbs repeated her promise to work across the aisle and include Republicans on her team.

“We must work together to make real progress,” she said. “That’s why you’ll see my administration bring people together from all parts of the state and from across the political spectrum – Democrats, Republicans and independents – with different points of view, to work side by side.”

She’s started to do that – her transition team was co-chaired by a Democrat and a Republican, and in a few key state agencies she’s keeping leaders appointed by her predecessor, former Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Mesa Mayor John Giles, a Republican supporter of Hobbs, also delivered a speech on Jan. 5.

The ceremony was held in the Capitol courtyard between the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives and drew hundreds of attendees. Those on hand included former Govs. Ducey, Jan Brewer and Fyfe Symington; U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema; and Sonora, Mexico Gov. Alfonso Durazo.

In addition to Hobbs, four other Arizona officials took the oath of office on Jan. 5: Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes, Republican Treasurer Kim Yee and Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne. Robert Brutinel, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, administered the oath of office to Fontes, Mayes, Yee and Horne.

For Hobbs, the oath was administered by Roopali Desai, a lawyer who represented her on many political and election cases while Hobbs was secretary of state. Desai was appointed to be a federal judge last year.

A handful of protesters, kept far from the inaugural ceremonies, protest Jan. 5, 2023, against Gov. Katie Hobbs. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

The event was purely ceremonial, however. The five officials sworn in on Jan. 5, plus Republican Mine Inspector Paul Marsh, also took the oath of office on Jan. 2 at a private event in the Executive Tower. The public event was set for Jan. 5 to avoid falling on a holiday.

Hobbs’ 14-minute speech was aspirational and touched on the big promises she made during the gubernatorial campaign, but it didn’t lay out exactly how that will translate to lawmaking or executive action even as it came days before the start of the 2023 legislative session.

“We must find common ground and do what’s right,” she said. “To invest in public schools and finally provide the support our students, teachers and parents deserve; to create good-paying jobs at lower cost; to defend reproductive freedom and women’s rights; to ensure public safety in all communities; to ensure access to safe, affordable housing; to enable small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive; to hold Washington accountable for our broken immigration system and its devastating impact on families and communities; to safeguard our elections; to protect our forests and public lands; to secure Arizona’s water future.”

Sticking to broad themes might be a nod to the fact that Hobbs, unlike Ducey, won’t have the luxury of dictating a policy agenda and working with members of her own party to push it through the Legislature. Or it might just mean she’s saving more explicit policy plans for her next major speech on Jan. 9, which will mark the start of the legislative term.

In an interview the day before the inauguration, Hobbs said her top three priorities for the 2023 legislative session are bolstering public education funding, addressing housing issues like affordability, and getting a state budget passed.

On Jan. 5, the courtyard was blanketed in white chairs for the attendees, with more seating on metal bleachers in the back. A miniature Arizona flag was laid on each seat. A drone – apparently a security measure – was tethered over the Senate building and then hovered over the crowd throughout the ceremony.

One issue hanging over the event was the fact that Hobbs hasn’t revealed exactly how it was funded. Her team has published a list of sponsors – which includes major corporations whose work is impacted by state law like Arizona Public Service and Banner Health – but hasn’t listed how much each sponsor donated to the inaugural day activities.

In spite of the talk about political cooperation and bipartisanship, some parts of Hobbs’ “unity” message could also be read as partisan talking points and could preview an ongoing political strategy for the Democrat who won office largely by casting her Republican opponent as out-of-touch and extreme.

“Now is the perfect time to move past division and partisanship and return to a path of cooperation and progress,” she said at one point. At another moment, speaking about voters’ choices in the November 2022 election, she said Arizona voters “rejected those who seek to divide, to pit Arizonan against Arizonan, community against community.”

That was a thinly veiled reference to Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who emulated former President Donald Trump’s political style and openly embraced his debunked claims about widespread fraud in Arizona’s elections. Lake did have prominent Republican detractors, but several GOP legislators supported her campaign.

Outside of the inaugural ceremony, beyond tall metal security fencing, a small group of Lake supporters gathered, carrying flags and yelling intermittently, their voices just barely audible as Hobbs and other officials laid out their plans for the state.



Hobbs’ leftover inauguration funds can be used on elections

People attend the public ceremonial inauguration of Arizona Democratice Gov. Katie Hobbs at the state Capitol in Phoenix, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Gov. Katie Hobbs collected nearly $1.5 million in donations from corporations and other special interests to cover the cost of her inauguration.

But the event cost only about $207,000 to put on.

And that’s going to leave her with a bunch of money she can spend on everything from gifts to visiting dignitaries to trying to flip control of the Arizona Legislature to Democrats in 2024.

The report, obtained by Capitol Media Services, also shows that Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest electric utility, was the largest donor at $250,000.

APS had previously confirmed that it had given money but refused to say how much the company was providing. Instead, company spokesman Mike Philipsen would say only that the company was “joining Arizona businesses to support the governor’s inauguration.”

He also said that the donation is “directed specifically to the 2023 gubernatorial inauguration committee, meaning it can be used in support of all inauguration functions.”

But the APS contribution itself exceeds what the event cost, with what to do with the balance now up to Hobbs because she set up the inaugural fund under a section of the Internal Revenue Code that allows proceeds to be used for political purposes.

If she spends the APS money – and the surplus from the other donors – to help get Democrats elected in 2024, that would prove to be a bit of irony.

The company gave more than $850,000 to the Republican Governors Association this election cycle. And that organization in turn provided more than $9 million to the Yuma County Republican Central Committee which used the cash to run commercials seeking to defeat Hobbs.

APS would not comment on whether the donation to the inaugural fund – the largest by a factor of 2.5 over any other – was a way of mending political fences with the new Democratic governor as the company’s investment in the RGA is disclosed in public reports.

By contrast, Salt River Project donated $25,000 for the inaugural. And Hobbs got just $10,000 from Tucson Electric Power.

There was no response from APS to multiple messages to APS seeking comment on having at least some of its money left over that Hobbs can spend for political purposes.

While APS was the largest donor, there were others in the six-figure range.

That includes Blue Cross Blue Shield which not only offers health insurance plans to state employees but also lobbies on insurance legislation at the state Capitol.

Also at the $100,000 level is the Realtors Issue Mobilization Committee. It provides grants to local Realtor associations to advocate on public policy issues. Its funding was cited by the Arizona Association of Realtors in the successful 2016 campaign to add a measure to the state constitution to forever prohibit the taxing of services – like real estate services.

And Sunshine Residential Homes, which provides care to children removed from their homes by the state Department of Child Safety, also kicked in $100,000.

There also was a $50,000 donation from William Perry, owner of William K. Perry Farms which grows cotton and alfalfa.

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs takes the ceremonial oath of office during a public inauguration at the state Capitol in Phoenix, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Union Pacific Corporation Fund for Effective Government kicked in $26,450, with $25,000 donations from the Tohono O’odham Nation, Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters, homebuilder Taylor Morrison, the Arizona Dispensary Association that represents marijuana shops, the Health System Alliance of Arizona, which lobbies on behalf of major hospitals, Honeywell International PAC and several individuals.

And there are a series of $10,000 and $5,000 donations, a few smaller – and one at $25.

The amounts donated are far in excess of what anyone could have given Hobbs – or any other candidate for statewide office.

For the election just completed, Arizona law limited individual donations for statewide candidates to $5,300. Even political parties could give no more than $80,300 to a party’s nominee.

And corporate donations to candidates – the kind that went to fund the inaugural – are entirely prohibited.

It wasn’t just Hobbs collecting money for the inaugural.

It turns out there was a separate State Inaugural Fund which has received donations and pledges of about $85,000, the largest of which was $25,000 from food giant conglomerate Pepsico. Hobbs press aide Murphy Hebert said those dollars will be used to pay for event-production expenses.

Hobbs has been under pressure to release information on the sources of funds for the inaugural event since Capitol Media Services first wrote at the beginning of the month that she was not fully disclosing the names of all the individuals or corporations paying for the celebration.

She subsequently put a full list of the names in a booklet that was given out at the Jan. 5 event and listed them on an inaugural web site. But this is the first time there is a full accounting of how much each has donated.

“With the inauguration events now behind us, we are fulfilling the governor’s commitment to transparency by disclosing the donations made to the Inaugural Fund as well as expenditures from the fund that helped cover the costs of the Jan. 5 inauguration ceremony,” Nicole DeMont, director of the inaugural committee said in a prepared statement.

Part of what makes the excess cash noteworthy, aside from the amount raised, is that what Hobbs gets to do with inaugural money differs from her three prior predecessors.

Republican Doug Ducey raised outside money, including at his second inaugural in 2019 where he sold tickets for the best seats to the event. For example, a $25,000 donation got six seats up front, three parking passes, six reception tickets, three photos and six inaugural pins.

But what was left over after paying costs was placed into the “protocol fund” that governors can use for things like gifts to dignitaries. And Arizona law requires governors to annually account for how those monies were spent.

In 2011 when Jan Brewer was sworn in, she raised $200,000 from lobbying firms, business interests and the state’s major utilities. When the event didn’t cost that much, leftover funds were earmarked to refurbish the governor’s offices, particularly to pay for new carpeting.

And Janet Napolitano’s 2007 inauguration raised only 150,000 from private sources to supplement the $60,000 budgeted in state funds, with no indication of anything left over.

By contrast, Hobbs set up her inaugural committee as a “social welfare organization,” a category under the Internal Revenue Code for nonprofits that allows at least a portion of the funds to be used for political purposes. That 501(c)(4) category is the same, for example, as the Free Enterprise Club which has used its status to promote candidates of its choice through independent expenditures for things like commercials.

And that enables Hobbs to use at least part of what’s left over after paying expenses to run the same kind of independent expenditure campaigns in 2024 to get a legislature more to her liking.

Arizonans got to see in 2020 what a governor with available cash can do.

That year Ducey was in control of Arizonans for Strong Leadership.

There are some differences. Ducey raised his cash not from his inaugural but from private donations.

But he did use his available dollars to push for election of GOP lawmakers in the 2020 election.

Most notably, the governor directed the spending of more than $170,000 to back Wendy Rogers in the general election for the state Senate and another $290,000 in independent expenditures against Felicia French, her foe. Rogers won.

Ducey was asked about those expenses after Rogers, once elected, was mired in controversies including her association with white nationalist groups. She even was censured by the Senate for “publicly issuing and promoting social media and video messaging encouraging violence against and punishment of American citizens,” with the resolution citing a speech she made to a white supremacist group.

But Ducey was unapologetic. He said his decision to back Rogers ensured Republicans would hang on to control of the Senate with their 16-14 margin, enabling him to advance his political agenda.

There was no disclosure of who attended Hobbs’ $150-a-head inaugural ball on the Saturday after she was sworn in. A spokesman said that had nothing to do with the inaugural committee, with the funds raised going to the Arizona Democratic Party.