The Hobbs Administration Finally Quells Chaos with New Hire

Photo Credit: AP/Ross D. Franklin

It has been an extremely tumultuous first 6 months of the Katie Hobbs Gubernatorial administration (get up to date here). Depending on who you ask, it could be deemed anything from rocky to disastrous, culminating in the ouster of her Chief of Staff Allie Bones. But just like how all good things must come to an end, so do all bad things, and it seems as though Governor Hobbs may have halted the downward trajectory of her administration.

Hobbs recently announced the hire of her new Chief of Staff, Chad Campbell. Chad has had a full career in politics, first as a state legislator and then the House Minority Leader (working across chambers from Hobbs when she was in the state senate). Since then he was brought on by a global political consulting firm Strategies 360 as their key person in Arizona, and afterward started his own consulting firm, Lumen Strategies.

Those who know Campbell generally all have positive things to say about him. He picks and chooses his battles wisely. He is not afraid to call someone out, but also understands the importance of keeping your mouth shut (a much needed trait in politics). He is known to be able to work across the aisle and doesn’t keep his friends to purely his own side of the aisle, but also can fight back as needed.

But perhaps as much anything, Campbell brings an air of competence. He is experienced with the delicate political art of getting stuff done. He knows his way around the Capitol and understands the legislative process as well as any Democrats in the state. He knows how to count the votes he has and the ones he doesn’t, and is not adverse to cajoling or twisting arms to attempt to get additional votes.

Also, Campbell is a friendly face. He had worked extensively with Hobbs during both his time in the legislature as well as past elections as part of his consulting work, and has always seemed to have a strong working relationship with her. It’s not enough for everyone else to have to want to work with Campbell: his boss needs to as well. It certainly seems like they are comfortable working closely together, and Campbell might be just the kind of trusted confidant who is comfortable with speaking truth to power in a way that Bones lacked the credibility to confidently do.

As when things were going poorly, there is still a long way to go in the Hobbs administration and a great many things can still happen, positive and negative. But it would not be surprising to look back at this move as the time that the administration finally got its stuff together and started moving in the right direction. Governor Hobbs got this one right.