Marquez Peterson speaks at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Southern Arizona mixer at EAC

Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Lea Marquez Peterson chats with Kempton Chevrolet's Kip Kempton during a Southern Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce mixer at Eastern Arizona College on Friday, March 25. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College played host to a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Southern Arizona mixer on Friday, with a special guest making the trip to Graham County.

Lea Marquez Peterson is the chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and spoke about issues important to Gila Valley residents.

“We’ve . . . had acquisition of some of the smaller water utilities in the area. We want to see more of occur throughout the state to ensure that we have more efficiency,” she said.

She also touched on the recent sale of natural gas service from Graham County Co-op to Southwest Gas, and the issues facing area utility cooperatives. Serving Southeastern Arizona are Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Graham County Electric Cooperative and Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, which serves Cochise County.

Marquez Peterson is a Tucson resident, and the only member of the Corporation Commission who lives outside of Maricopa County. She also said she has ties to this area, with her family originally from the Clifton/Morenci area and her grandparents once owning an insurance agency in Safford.

She is first and only Hispanic woman to hold a statewide office.