Inauguration day: statewide officials sworn in

Arizona’s six statewide elected officials were sworn into their offices Monday morning.

Held in front of the old state Capitol, the ceremony included the inauguration of Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ); Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D-AZ); Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R-AZ); Treasurer Kimberly Yee (R-AZ); Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman (D-AZ); and Mine Inspector Joe Hart (R-AZ).

Here are some of their goals for the job ahead:

Secretary of State: Katie Hobbs

“This day is about our very highest and proudest responsibility: creating a transparent government that works for all of us,” Hobbs said, starting her acceptance speech.

Hobbs was elected as Arizona’s Secretary of State, an office that sits first in the line of succession behind the governor.

After the election, the Associated Press originally declared Hobbs’ opponent, Steve Gaynor, the winner of the seat. However, neither candidate conceded or declared victory until almost all the votes were tabulated.

“The responsibilities of this office are great, but the greatest responsibility of this jobs is one that constitutes the heart of our democracy: protecting the sacred right to vote for everyone who is eligible to do so,” Hobbs said.

In an interview with CBN last month, Hobbs said that Arizona needs a secretary of state who is a leader and willing to work collaboratively with county recorders and election officials.

She also plans on making sure elections are secure, shortening the wait time at polls, and restoring voter trust.

According to Hobbs, she’s “already heard dozens of ideas about how to accomplish this goal. I pledge to you that I will work with cities and counties, tribal leaders, the Legislature and governor to identify and implement the best of these ideas. Further, I will oppose any effort to place any additional restrictions on your right to vote.”

Attorney General: Mark Brnovich

“I am proud to represent all Arizonans as attorney general, and I will continue to do what the law requires [us] to,” he said.

Brnovich, who has held the office of Attorney General since 2015, spent his race dodging attacks from California billionaire and Proposition 207 proponent Tom Steyers.

“Our [country’s] laws are not just words on paper, our constitution has to mean something. Our founding documents, the Constitution, the Declaration [of Independence] recognized the God-given rights of individuals as human beings,” he said. “As attorney general, I’m often asked ‘What do you do when you try [solve] problems?’ And my first question is, ‘What does the law require?’ Because being attorney general is enforcing the law as it is, not as you would like it to be. It’s about doing everything you can to assure everyone plays by the rules. It’s about [protecting] true justice.”

In his time in office he filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents over tuition costs; completed consumer fraud settlements with Theranos, Inc., General Motors, and Volkswagen; and investigated Google on alleged data privacy invasions.

He also helped with the development of Arizona’s FinTech Sandbox, which is the first in the nation.

Treasurer: Kimberly Yee

Yee, who won against Democrat opponent Mark Manoil, became Arizona’s first elected female Asian-American statewide official.

“Today, as I am sworn in as the 36th State Treasurer of Arizona, I am honored to become the first Asian-American elected to statewide office in this great state. I am also the first Chinese-American Republican woman elected to [a] statewide office in our entire country’s history. Thank you,” she said.

Previously she served as a state representative for the 10th district and a state Senator for the 20th district, serving one term as Senate president.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Kathy Hoffman

I am deeply honored to be your next superintendent of public instruction. I have worked my entire career in Arizona public schools and as an educator and speech therapist, I have seen first-hand what our students are capable of when they have the resources that they need,” Hoffman said.

This is Hoffman’s first time serving in public office. Previously she was a preschool teacher and speech therapist.

As a former teacher, Hoffman plans on being an advocate for public education, an issue that has been huge in Arizona over the past year.

In a CBN interview, Hoffman said the teacher shortage is the biggest issue the Arizona education system faces.

She plans on working with community organizations and leaders as well as businesses to help improve Arizona’s education.

“For the last almost two years, I shared my vision for Arizona schools and I continue to hold that vision dear to my heart today. So, I would often say, ‘Imagine if we elevated the voices of our teachers and let educators lead, and imagine if all of our students had the supports and services they need in their schools to be successful,’” she said. “Well, guess what? I’m done saying imagine if. I am here to say let’s get to work!”

Mine Inspector: Joe Hart

Hart is the Arizona’s 11th Mine Inspector and has been in office since 2007.

“I want to thank you so much, to serve as the state mine inspector, making sure the mines are safe. I will not let you down,” he said.

Previously, he served in the Arizona House of Representatives for ten years, where he championed the Abandoned Mine Safety Fund legislation.

Prior to that, Hart worked at Duval Mining Corporation for 20 years.

The 2018 November election made history with record voter turnout for a midterm, as well as containing multiple races that were too-close-to-call for up to two weeks past Election Day.

Emily Richardson

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