Gillette preps for first session as newly-elected rep￼
Newly-elected District 30 state representative John Gillette said the election of Democrat Katie Hobbs as Governor has prompted some re-huddling by Arizona republicans in advance of the upcoming legislative session. The Kingman republican said republicans who won seats in the primary election had been planning measures they believed would be well-received had republican Kari Lake been elected in the general election.
“We’re obviously going to have to shift what we originally thought was going to be our instant wins to maybe a little backtracking and blocking of some of the initiatives that we don’t feel are good for LD-30 and our area,” Gillette said during a presentation at the December 6 Kingman City Council meeting. “A lot of these things we put together expecting a friendly governor to come in and just move our bills quickly, and that has obviously changed.”
Gillette told Kingman Council members that supporting and protecting the new flat tax and school voucher programs are priorities across the state. He said water is the big issue for Kingman and that the Mohave County seat community and sister municipalities Lake Havasu and Bullhead City are unified in need of transportation infrastructure improvement.
“We know the state or our roads. We know the state of our state highways and the state of the state is not very good when it comes to the roads,” Gillette said. He succeeds state representative Regina Cobb, who exits the legislature due to term limits, and joins re-elected senator Sonny Borrelli and state representative Leo Biasiucci, both from Lake Havasu, on the LD-30 team.
Tom Dorn, whose Dorn Policy Group in Phoenix represents Kingman at the state capitol, told council members that Gillette joins effective legislative leadership for northwest Arizona.
“Sonny Borrelli and Leo Biasiucci do a great job representing the entire district,” Dorn said. “There’s nothing like having people from your community at the capitol.”
Kingman City Manager Ron Foggin agreed.
“It’s wonderful to have representation at the state. We’re looking forward to working closely with representative Gillette, and of course Biasiucci and Sonny Borrelli,” Foggin said. “These two senior legislators have actually accepted pretty important leadership roles at the state legislature. We’re fortunate to have a local representative that wants to talk to us as well as representatives who are in leadership roles.
Dorn said the district is in good shape with Borrelli and Biasiucci selected as majority leaders in the Senate and House, while Gillette begins his freshman year with assignments to two House Committees and will serve as Vice Chairman of another. He said the makeup of the legislature remains the same after the general election with the GOP maintaining its 16-14 edge in the senate and a 31-29 seat advantage in the House.
“The only thing that changes is you now have a Democratic governor,” Dorn said. “So, while the republicans are used to being the most powerful person at the legislature because each of them can hold their vote back to make sure that a majority doesn’t pass a bill, they can’t do that anymore.”
Dorn said Kingman, Lake Havasu and Bullhead City may realize some benefit from the Hobbs win because he said Arizona Democratic governors historically have supported and protected municipalities. The 56th Arizona legislature will convene its 2023 session January 9 in Phoenix.