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Arizona Corporation Commission

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Arizona Corporation Commission
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $23,872,100
Total Seats:  5
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Arizona Constitution, Article 15, Section 1
Leadership:  Susan Bitter Smith (R)
Selection Method:  Elected
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Arizona Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of Public InstructionAuditorAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorLands CommissionerLabor DirectorCorporation CommissionState Mine Inspector
The Arizona Corporation Commission is a quasi-executive regulatory agency in the Arizona state government. The commission is Arizona's state regulatory body for non-municipal utility companies, including energy, heat, trash, water and communications firms. It also oversees the incorporation of businesses, securities regulation and railroad/pipeline safety.[1]

Current officeholders

The current commissioners are Robert Burns (R), Doug Little (R), Tom Forese (R), Bob Stump (R) and Susan Bitter Smith (R) (Chairman).[2]


The commission's authority stems from the Arizona Constitution.

Arizona Constitution, Article 15, Section 1

B. A corporation commission is hereby created to be composed of five persons who shall be elected at the general election, and whose term of office shall be four years, and who shall maintain their chief office at the state capital.


Commissioners must only satisfy the standard requirements for all Arizona state officers, who must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and able to speak English.

Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 38, Chapter 2, Article 2, Section 211

A. Every officer shall be not less than eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state.

B. No person is eligible to any office, employment or service in any public institution in the state, or in any of the several counties thereof, of any kind or character, whether by election, appointment or contract, unless he is a citizen of the United States, but the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to the employment of any teacher, instructor or professor authorized to teach in the United States under the teacher exchange program as provided by federal statutes or the employment of university or college faculty members.

C. A person who is unable to speak, write and read the English language is not eligible to hold a state, county, city, town or precinct office in the state, whether elective or appointive, and no certificate of election or commission shall issue to a person so disqualified.

D. Except as provided in subsection E, a person is not eligible for employment by or service for the state or a political subdivision of the state, including all boards and commissions of the state or political subdivision, all multimember governing bodies of departments, agencies, institutions and instrumentalities of the state or political subdivisions unless the person has registered with the selective service system if required by the federal military selective service act (62 Stat. 604; 50 United States Code App. section 453).


Arizona state government organizational chart

The Arizona Constitution requires that commissioners be elected in statewide contests to four-year terms. Three commissioners are elected during federal presidential election years (2012, 2016, 2020). The two remaining commissioners are elected during gubernatorial elections (2010, 2014, 2018). Commissioners' terms begin on the first Monday in January after the year they are elected (e.g. January 2, 2017, and January 4, 2021.)

Arizona Constitution, Article 15, Section 1

B. A corporation commission is hereby created to be composed of five persons who shall be elected at the general election, and whose term of office shall be four years, and who shall maintain their chief office at the state capital. The two additional commission members shall be elected at the 2002 general election for initial two-year terms beginning on the first Monday in January, 2003. Thereafter, all terms shall be four-year terms.


See also: Arizona down ballot state executive elections, 2014
Arizona Corporation Commission, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Little 28.8% 766,864
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTom Forese 28.6% 761,915
     Democratic Sandra Kennedy 21.6% 576,482
     Democratic Jim Holway 20.9% 557,963
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 529
Total Votes 2,663,753
Election Results via Arizona Secretary of State.


See also: Arizona state executive official elections, 2012

Incumbents Paul Newman (D), Sandra Kennedy (D) and Bob Stump (R) all ran for re-election. Stump won re-election, and Republican candidates Robert Burns and Susan Bitter Smith edged out Newman and Kennedy for their seats in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Arizona Corporation Commission General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Paul Newman Incumbent 15.5% 868,726
     Democratic Sandra Kennedy Incumbent 15.4% 862,876
     Democratic Marcia Busching 13.8% 776,472
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBob Stump Incumbent 17.5% 979,034
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRobert Burns 16.8% 943,157
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSusan Bitter Smith 16.7% 935,575
     Libertarian Christopher Gohl 2% 112,490
     Green Daniel Pout 1% 58,607
     Green Thomas Meadows 1.2% 67,950
     Write-in Various 0.1% 3,784
Total Votes 5,608,671
Election Results via Arizona Secretary of State.

Term limits

A corporation commissioner may not hold office for more than two consecutive terms.


Arizona law does not prescribe any particular procedures for dealing with a vacancy in the office.


The corporation commission adopt rules and regulations covering the state's public utility companies. Additionally, the commission is responsible for incorporation businesses and organizations, regulating securities and ensuring the safety of railroads and pipelines.[3]


The Corporation Commission is composed of the following divisions:

  • Administration
  • Corporations
  • Hearings
  • Utilities
  • Safety (Pipeline & Road)
  • Securities
  • AZ Power Plant

State budget

See also: Arizona state budget and finances

The budget for the Arizona Corporation Commission in Fiscal Year 2012 was $23,872,100.[4]


The salaries of the commissioners and other elected executives in Arizona is determined by the Arizona Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers. This five-member committee is sanctioned by Article 5, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution. Two members are appointed by the governor and one member each is appointed by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.[5]

Commission members meet prior to June 1 of each even-numbered year to produce salary recommendations for the governor. The governor may accept, reject or modify recommendations prior to delivery to state legislators. The legislature has 90 days following the governor's transmission of the recommendations to reject or modify salary proposals. If no changes are made, the commission's recommendations take effect following the next election for applicable offices.[6][7]


In 2014, each corporation commissioner was paid an estimated $79,500.[8]


In 2013, each corporation commissioner in Arizona was paid an estimated $79,500.[9][10]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Arizona Corporation Commission has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Contact info


Physical address:
1200 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-3931 (Executive Director's office)

See also

External links