PHOENIX — Editor's Note: The above video aired during an earlier broadcast.
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Tuesday withdrew her nomination of Dr. Theresa Cullen to lead the state Department of Health Services.
Hobbs said she made the decision because Cullen didn’t want to proceed as the nominee.
A Republican-led committee considering Cullen’s nomination voted last week to recommend that the Senate not confirm her even though she has 27 years of public service.
The committee raised concerns about business closures and curfews in Pima County, where Cullen said she will remain as public health director.
"While the state job hasn’t worked out, I love being Pima County’s public health director and there remains a lot of work to do making Pima County one of the healthiest counties in the country,” Cullen said in a statement.
Hobbs, a Democrat, said "as long as Republicans choose politics over the people of Arizona, some of the most talented and qualified candidates will choose not to enter state service, and it is the people of Arizona who will suffer most because of these political games.”
Up to Speed
What is the Valley?
“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest.
The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:
- El Mirage
- Litchfield Park
Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.
The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.
How big is Maricopa County?
Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.
The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).
One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.
The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.