Former House Speaker Andy Tobin will be filling a soon-to-be vacated seat on the State Corporation Commission. Governor Doug Ducey has appointed Tobin to replace Susan Bittersmith, who resigned amid conflict of interest allegations.

Tobin says he’s grateful for the opportunity, adding he never went after the job, but the Governor says he’s a trusted individual “known for sticking to his guns and doing what he knows is right, even when the stakes are high and even under intense pressure.”

Tobin says his new Commission seat will give rural interests a louder voice on water ,power and transportation issues, without which “it could not expand”. Tobin is currently Director of the State Insurance Department. Bittersmith resigned rather than fight allegations her separate position as a cable industry lobbyist conflicts with her interests on the Commission. She says she stepped down to keep the controversy from interfering with the panel’s business, not that she’s done anything wrong. Her last day on the Commission as January 4th.

–Barbara Villa