Allie Bones, chief of staff to Katie Hobbs, resigns after less than 5 months on the job
Gov. Katie Hobbs’ chief of staff, Allie Bones, has resigned, the governor announced Thursday.
Before following Hobbs to the governor’s office, Bones was the assistant secretary of state for the four years that Hobbs was secretary of state. The two have worked together for more than 20 years, after meeting in 2001 when they both were social workers advocating for survivors of domestic abuse.
Bones lasted less than five months in the role. The governor said in a statement that Bones planned to leave her position to “pursue new opportunities” but did not specify what those were. She plans to name a new chief of staff next week.
“Allie Bones exemplifies the true meaning of a public servant, and I am incredibly grateful for her leadership throughout the transition and this first legislative session of my Administration,” Hobbs said in the statement. “Her goal was to build a team that could work across the aisle to navigate divided government, and she accomplished that. With a successful bipartisan budget behind us, she’s ready for her next endeavor, and I wish her nothing but the best.”
Some Democrats were unhappy with Bones’ performance as chief of staff. Some, like Rep. Cesar Aguilar, celebrated her resignation. He said that Bones ruined Democratic morale.
Aguilar told the Arizona Mirror that he was disappointed in Hobbs’ and Bones’ handling of the annual budget, which he thought included too many concessions to Republicans and not enough wins for Democrats.
“It was our leverage she gave up,” he said. “I was very disappointed in that whole process.”
Aguilar said that Hobbs should have held out on passing the budget until more of her director appointments had been approved by the Republican majority and that her team should have tried to work out a deal to extend Proposition 400, the half-cent sales tax that funds Maricopa County transportation projects that is set to expire in 2025.
But he said that when Democrats attempted to speak about their wishes for the budget, Bones shut them down.
“The governor and Allie Bones somehow found a way to piss off every Democrat in the House, in the Senate, Secretary of State (Adrian) Fontes and Kris Mayes,” Aguilar said. “You’ve got to be trying to do that.”
This resignation follows another switch up in Hobbs’ leadership team in March, after Josselyn Berry, Hobbs’ press secretary, just stepped down after sharing a controversial tweet and Hobbs’ director of communications, Murphy Hebert stepped down shortly after that.
After Hebert’s resignation, Will Gaona, formerly the director of public affairs, moved up to deputy chief of staff, Jennifer Loredo, formerly the director of community engagement, became director of policy, legislative and intergovernmental affairs; and Tracy Lopes, former director of policy, became the governor’s director of community and constituent engagement. And earlier this month, Rebecca Beebe, who was the legislative affairs director, resigned.
***UPDATED: This story has been updated to include comments from Rep. Cesar Aguilar.