Michael Hunter, the Governor’s Director of Legislative Affairs, will transition to a new role as Director of Policy. He will remain the Governor’s Special Advisor on Tax Policy and Reform. Mr. Hunter replaces Page Gonzales, who has accepted a position as Chief of Staff to Maricopa County Supervisor-elect Steve Chucri. Being promoted into the role of Director of Legislative Affairs is Lorna Romero, who has served as Deputy Director to Mr. Hunter since August 2011.
“Each of these individuals has been a blessing to my administration, and I’m grateful for their service and dedication,” said Governor Brewer. “It’s always difficult to see the departure of a talented staff member like Page, but the continued service and sacrifice of advisors such as Michael and Lorna is proof-positive that this team is in good hands.”
Prior to joining the Brewer administration in December 2010, Michael Hunter was Senior Policy Advisor for Budget and Finance for the Arizona State Senate Majority Staff. He also has held positions as Government Affairs Director for the Arizona Board of Regents, and as Vice President of the Arizona Tax Research Association.
“Michael is one of my most-trusted advisors, and is well-known for his expertise in matters of public finance and taxation,” said Governor Brewer. “His background and knowledge of the Legislature will be helpful as he assumes new responsibilities in helping lead my policy agenda. I know he’ll continue to play a critical role in this administration and serve the State of Arizona well.”
Replacing Mr. Hunter as Director of Legislative Affairs is Lorna Romero. First joining the administration more than a year ago as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, Ms. Romero has quickly become a respected figure in Capitol circles. She has been particularly involved in policy related to commerce and workforce development, and has grown strong relationships with legislators and legislative staff – important attributes in her new role as Director.
“Lorna has quickly become one of my team’s experts in public policy and tax reform,” said Governor Brewer. “She is a talented public servant who takes seriously her responsibility to the State of Arizona, and I know she will excel in this new role as Director of Legislative Affairs.”
Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Ms. Romero was Director of Government Relations for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. During her time at the Chamber, she played a significant role in enhancing the State’s business climate through regulatory, tax and labor reform.
The staff transitions of Mr. Hunter and Ms. Romero are necessitated by the coming departure of Page Gonzales. Ms. Gonzales has been a constant in the Brewer administration since its early days of 2009. She joined the team as a policy advisor for transportation and local government, was subsequently promoted to Deputy Policy Director and – in September 2011 – was named Director of Policy. Ms. Gonzales has worked in all three branches of government. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, she worked for Maricopa Community Colleges, the Arizona Supreme Court, Maricopa County and the Arizona House of Representatives.
“I have mixed emotions about Page’s departure,” said Governor Brewer. “On the one hand, I could not be more thrilled for – or proud of – the well-earned reputation she has built as a key member of this administration. On the other hand, it is difficult not to be saddened that the Capitol will lose a well-liked, well-versed and utterly-devoted public servant like Page. I wish her all the best in her new role, and I know she will serve Maricopa County with distinction.”
The gubernatorial staff changes are effective December 19, 2012.