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Hobbs nominee to oversee AZ Registrar of Contractors rejected by Senate committee

Republicans on a state Senate committee oppose confirming Democrat Martin Quezada as director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, citing his progressive background, voting habits as a former state senator and past social media posts.

The registrar of contractors “licenses and regulates residential and commercial contractors.”

Quezada’s nomination by Gov. Katie Hobbs drew the support of several contractor and subcontractor associations.

But Republican committee chair Jake Hoffman accused Quezada of being a far-left extremist and making past comments Hoffman claimed were antisemitic and racist.

“The appointment of this nominee by Katie Hobbs is shocking,” Hoffman said. “It’s also reckless and, I believe, harmful to our state’s small businesses.”

Quezada defended himself, telling the committee those biases go against his personal values.

“In fact, I’ve dedicated really my entire life and my entire professional career to not only fighting back against, but eradicating any forms of discrimination, prejudice, bias, injustice,” Quezada said.

Quezada said that, unlike his previous role as a senator, there’s no room for politics in the job he was appointed to in January.

Quezada’s nomination must still get a vote by the full Senate.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.