Another Dysfunction Bombshell from the Katie Hobbs Administration: Her Chief of Staff is Pushed Out

Allie Bones

Allie Bones. Photo Credit: Jewish News

To say that it has been a tumultuous first half year of the Governor Hobbs administration would be an understatement. In the process of alienating many in her own caucus she has lost several high-level staffers, both through their own mistakes and being unwilling or unable to carry out the mission in the midst of what some saw as failed budget negotiations (get up to date here).That chaos pales in comparison to the administration’s most recent departure however.

Last week, Governor Hobbs’s Chief of Staff and longtime right hand staffer Allie Bones abruptly resigned. This marks the fourth high-level staffer departure in five months and by far the most important. While it was technically a resignation, sources say that Bones was forced out as a result of widespread dissatisfaction with her performance. The final nail in the coffin resulted from the budget negotiations; having already alienated much of the Democratic caucus, notable donors and stakeholders were also deeply uneasy with Hobbs’s inability to get concessions from the GOP. Bones was the fall-person.

It’s worth noting that Bones had been a very good friend of Hobbs for two decades. It would be unfair to say that her continued promotions were purely nepotistic by nature; after all, as her Chief of Staff as Secretary of State, Bones presumably did a good enough job to help Hobbs rise in the ranks. But one does have to wonder if Hobbs spent enough time sourcing talent, as many of her primary hires came from the small local Democratic bubble, and were a group of people who never had to reach across the aisle to get anything accomplished.

While we have noted extensively that Hobbs’s hands are somewhat tied when it comes to negotiation (her hard power is relegated to veto power insofar as the legislature is concerned), this is clearly a new low point in the administration and points to a deeper issue; can Hobbs negotiate at all? The Democratic caucus was quietly seething at the lack of caps for school voucher use, despite how their use could negatively impact the budget. While the administration touted an increase in education funding, and much of the caucus went along with this selling point, not everybody was so enthusiastic.

However, this shouldn’t be too surprising. We shouldn’t forget that in a fairly unprecedented move, Hobbs declined to debate Kari Lake before the general election. It is well known that she is adverse to open conflict. The hardball tactics and political brass knuckles that Republicans have refined when budget talks begin are simply not in Hobbs’s toolbox, and apparently not in Bones’s either.

We are not even 1/8th of the way through Hobbs’s term in office; there is quite a bit of time to right the ship. Hobbs has a lot of work to do however. She absolutely needs staffers with the “iron fist in a velvet glove” mentality that she sorely lacks and the ability to court Republicans effectively. Without this, she runs the risk of destroying her chances of achieving a majority in the 2024 elections.