Katie Hobbs has been sworn in to become Arizona’s 24th governor on Monday and the first Democrat to hold the office since 2009.
Hobbs will be Arizona’s fifth female governor and the state’s first Democrat in 16 years. She took the oath of office at the state Capitol to officially take over from Republican Doug Ducey. A public inauguration for the governor and others taking statewide offices is scheduled for Thursday.
“I will never stop fighting for working families in our state,“ she continued. ”We’ve already hit the ground running, naming our senior Cabinet officials who will help lead our state for the next four years. It is the greatest honor of my life to serve the state I love—and I’ll never forget the faith that Arizonans have placed in me.”
Roopali Desai, a recently confirmed judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who previously represented Democrats in election cases and Hobbs as secretary of state, administered the oath of office to Hobbs.
Hobbs is the outgoing secretary of state and was previously a state legislator who rose to become the Senate’s top Democrat. The Arizona Legislature, which resumes next week, is controlled by Republicans with a slim majority.
The governor’s victory in the 2022 midterms was certified on Dec. 5 amid legal challenges filed by Hobbs’s Republican opponent, Kari Lake, a former news anchor who received support from former President Donald Trump.
She claimed that the state is led by “conspiracy theorists who are more focused on political posturing than getting things done,” and said this mentality needed to change.
As governor, Hobbs is expected to bring in new protections based on gender identity, political affiliation, military service or veteran status, marital status, culture, and other characteristics. In one of her first official actions, Hobbs signed an executive order setting in motion a process to update the state’s policies barring discrimination in state employment and contracting.
Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Attorney General Kris Mayes, both Democrats, also took office on Monday after defeating Trump-backed Republicans who refused to concede and unsuccessfully challenged their losses in court. Mayes’s 280-vote victory was one of the closest in Arizona history.
Three Republican state officials were sworn in for new terms by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel. Kimberly Yee was sworn in for her second term as state treasurer, and Tom Horne was sworn in for his second term as superintendent of public instruction, a position he held for two terms beginning in 2003. Paul Marsh was sworn in as mine inspector.
According to Arizona law, these statewide elected officials must begin their terms on the first Monday of January.