Appointees for big agencies and key staff decisions will have a direct impact on your life. Here are the people you need to know.
Rachel Leingang, Arizona Agenda
The people who surround the state’s top elected official — her department and agency heads and the staffers — are nearly as influential as the governor herself.
Agency leaders and key staffers will, in many ways, more directly shape state policies than the governor who signs them. They decide how laws are implemented. Their leadership will determine whether longtime workers stay on the job or quit. And that affects the kind of service you receive from your government.
While appointments and staffing decisions sometimes seem like inside baseball, it’s exactly the opposite: You’re far more likely to interact with a staffer or agency head than you are to get an audience with the governor (or any other elected official, for that matter). It’s not just that you go to state agencies for services like driver’s licenses or construction permits — you breathe the air and drink the water here.
If they do a good job, you’ll probably never hear about the people who lead Arizona’s largest and most important agencies. But if something goes wrong, you’ll almost certainly know their names.