Biographies - Commisioners
Kristin K. Mayes
Kristin K. Mayes was born and raised in Prescott, Ariz. After graduating from Prescott High School and winning the prestigious Flinn scholarship, Mayes attended Arizona State University. While attending ASU, she served as editor in chief of the State Press, one of the nation’s largest college newspapers and completed an internship with the Johannesburg Star in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition, Mayes won the Truman Scholarship, the nation’s top scholarship for public service, was a national finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and graduated valedictorian from ASU with a degree in political science. Also in college, Commissioner Mayes’ love for politics was fostered when she interned in Washington D.C. for Congressman Bob Stump.
Mayes immediately went to work as a general assignment reporter for the Phoenix Gazette, and later as a political reporter for the Arizona Republic, covering the Arizona State Legislature. Mayes left her post at the Republic to attend graduate school at Columbia University in New York, where she earned a Master of Public Administration. While at Columbia, Kris wrote her thesis on electric deregulation.
Following graduate school, Mayes returned to the Arizona Republic, where she was assigned to cover the 2000 presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain, former Vice President Dan Quayle, publisher Steve Forbes and then-Governor George W. Bush. During this time Mayes co-authored a book entitled Spin Priests: Campaign Advisors and the 2000 Race for the White House. After the presidential campaign, Mayes attended ASU College of Law and graduated magna cum laude.
Commissioner Mayes was appointed to the Corporation Commission in October 2003. She has devoted much of her time since the appointment to pipeline safety, renewable energy and natural gas issues.
Mayes considers reading about politics and jogging her chief hobbies, and spends a considerable amount of time in Prescott, Ariz., visiting her mother Karen Mayes, who still resides in the Mile High city. Mayes has a sister, Kimberly, who is a child life specialist in California, and a brother, Kirk, who is an accountant in Boston, Mass.
Sandra D. Kennedy
Sandra D. Kennedy was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission on Nov. 4, 2008.
Kennedy was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1986 where she served for six years (1986-1992). During this time, she was appointed to the Arizona Employment and Training Council by Gov. Rose Mofford and, in 1990, was appointed to the executive committee of the State Democratic Party and served for two years. Also, that year, she was elected to serve a four year term on the Phoenix Union High School Governing Board. In 1992, she was elected state senator and subsequently served three terms (1992-1998).
A graduate of South Mountain High School, Kennedy attended college within the Maricopa Community College District and Arizona State University, majoring in accounting and business administration.
Her many past and present community and civic projects include the following:
- Tutor for Valley Christian Center and Valle Del Sol
- Board member of the Arizona Cactus Pine Girl Scout Council
- Ex-Officio Member of Phoenix Community Alliance
- Former Board member of the Community Excellence Project
- Performer with the Arizona Black Theatre
Additional Accomplishments of Sandra Kennedy:
- Voted Outstanding Young Woman of America in 1984.
- A member of the National Association of Female Executives
- A delegate to the Foreign Relations Conference in June 1988 from the American Council of Young Political Leaders
- A member of the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Black Conference of State Legislators.
- Former owner of the business enterprise, Kennedy Restaurants, LLC
Sandra Kennedy was born in Oklahoma City, Okla., and came to Phoenix in 1971. She is the mother of three: Mahogany; Amber and Seth.
Paul Newman was born and raised on his family's dairy farm in New Jersey. He earned a bachelor's of arts degree in behavioral and social science from the University of Maryland; a master's degree in Public Administration and a master's degree in Judicial Administration from University Southern California; and a juris doctorate degree from California Western School of Law.
Before moving to Arizona in 1988, he was an administrator, researcher, and consultant with the California court system where he served as a court management consultant for the National Center for State Courts, California Supreme Court, Los Angeles Municipal Court, Sacramento Municipal Court and San Diego Superior Court from 1976 through 1986.
Newman has also served as a public defender in San Diego County, Cochise County and Pima County and maintains a private practice in Bisbee, Ariz. He has also completed a certificate in public policy from the University of Arizona.
Newman is a proven, effective leader in his life of public service. He was a two-term Cochise County supervisor and three-term state representative. He was named "Legislator of the Year" by Arizona Association of Counties and by the Behavioral Health Community for his work in the Arizona Legislature and has served the people of Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties since 1992. During his tenure in the Arizona Legislature, The League of Conservation Voters consistently ranked Paul Newman #1 in voting to protect the environment.
As an example of his dedication to the environment, as Cochise County Supervisor, Newman successfully stopped a trash burning incinerator in Whetstone, Ariz. and a coal burning power plant in Bowie, Ariz. On April 21, 2008, Earth Day, he received The U.S. Department of the Interior Cooperative Conservation Award for his work in preserving the San Pedro River.
Newman led a successful funding effort for Kartchner Caverns and established a state-wide rural technology incubator system; secured funding for Healthy Families, Healthy Children; developed tax credits for businesses to hire the unemployed; fully-funded the widow and disabled homeowners tax credit; assisted in establishing and funding the border volunteer corps program; and lobbied to secure full funding for the University of Arizona at Sierra Vista, Ariz. and Cochise College. He has always been responsive to the needs of constituents and can be trusted to be a strong voice for the people.
Newman is an advocate for creating a sustainable economy while protecting our environment and works to lead Arizona in becoming a significant source of solar energy. Establishing Arizona as an exporter of solar power to the entire United States will create good paying green collar jobs and will allow America to throw off the chains of foreign oil dependence. Arizona can spur the growth of appropriate technologies for addressing climate change by leading the way on solar power. Our state's economy will reap the benefits of the research, development, construction, maintenance, staffing and training required to upgrade to the energy source of the new millennium.
Gary Pierce was born in Illinois and raised in Mesa, Ariz. He graduated from Mesa High School. A track scholarship took him to Mesa Community College then transferring to Arizona State University, he graduated in 1974 with a bachelors degree in education.
Pierce taught at Mesa's Taft Elementary School with a career in the automobile business following his teaching experience. After managing dealerships for four years in Sierra Vista, he moved to Yuma and became a Honda and Nissan dealer. Pierce also owned a Shell Gas Station and Budget Rent-A-Car franchise. The Pierce family moved back to Mesa 1998.
Gary Pierce was twice elected to the Yuma County Board of Supervisors and served in the Arizona House of Representatives from District 19 (North/East Mesa) from 2001 through 2006. In 2005 and 2006 he served as majority whip. He served on a number of legislative committees including Environment; Natural Resources and Agriculture; and as chairman of Transportation. Commissioner Pierce previously served on the Arizona Housing Commission, the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation Advisory Board.
In January of 2004, Rep. Pierce sponsored HB2456, which authorized Maricopa County to call an election for a 20 year extension of the half-cent sales tax to fund transportation. The Regional Transportation Plan was placed on the November ballot, as Proposition 400. That measure passed, ensuring the resources to continue construction of our freeways with the goal to build a complete transportation system in Maricopa County.
Commissioner Pierce has been married to Sherry, a Mesa native, for 37 years and they have four sons, four daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.
The commissioner served as an assistant scoutmaster with his son's Boy Scouts of America troop and all four of his sons are Eagle Scouts.
Commissioner Bob Stump was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2008. He represented District 9 in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2002-2008.
Stump has been deemed one of Arizona's "Best State Representatives" by the Arizona Capitol Times, based on a survey of Arizona's government and civic leaders. He has received over a dozen awards in recognition of his efforts to improve Arizonans' health care and protect Arizona's taxpayers – including awards from the Arizona Medical Association ("Walk the Talk" award), the Arizona Healthcare Association ("Legislator of Distinction"), the Alzheimer's Association and the Autism Society of America. The March of Dimes has honored Stump for helping improve the odds for Arizona's babies by working to prevent birth defects. Stump has also been recognized as a "Champion of the Taxpayer" by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers and an "Eagle for Enterprise" by the Arizona Small Business Association for his work on behalf of small-business owners.
In the Legislature, Stump served as a member of the House Water and Agriculture Committee, where he helped promote sound water management policies for our state. He has a wide range of policy experience, having served as chairman of the House Health Committee; co-chair of the Joint Select Committee to Investigate Operations and Conditions at the Arizona Veterans Home; vice chair of the Health and Rules committees; and as a member of the Commerce & Military Affairs, Ways & Means, Financial Institutions & Insurance, Ethics and Education committees. Stump also helped craft several multi-billion-dollar budgets for our state.
Stump's innovative policy proposals have made front-page news in USA Today and serve as model legislation for legislatures throughout the country. He has discussed key legislative initiatives on CNN; "Your World with Neil Cavuto," on the Fox News Channel; National Public Radio; as well as various national and international media. In 2006, Stump was a featured guest on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," which devoted nearly an hour to discuss his policy ideas with a national audience.
Before seeking public office, Stump worked as a reporter and editor for leading national and local magazines and newspapers in Washington, D.C., and Tucson, Ariz.
Stump also served as a research associate via the New York-based Manhattan Institute to author and former presidential speechwriter David Frum; as an aide to Fred Barnes and William Kristol; and as a speechwriter for Republican candidates and officeholders in Arizona.
Stump holds degrees from Harvard University, where he studied political philosophy with columnist George F. Will, as well as American religious history, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied philosophy and social thought, and from which he graduated with High Honors.
In his free time, Stump enjoys music, hiking, travel and exploring our great state of Arizona.