Kris Mayes is one of Arizona’s strongest consumer advocates and an attorney who has distinguished herself as a fighter for families in a lifetime of public service.
During her time as an Arizona Corporation Commissioner, Kris's leadership helped create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, saved Arizona consumers tens of billions of dollars, and fought climate change by requiring utilities to produce more clean energy -- including solar, wind and energy efficiency. Kris worked to preserve Arizona’s increasingly threatened water resources by overseeing one of the largest expansions of utility water conservation programs in state history. Kris also pushed utilities to stop spending ratepayer money on corporate bonuses and advertising, in an effort to keep rates low. And when a major natural gas company was charging too much in the wintertime, Kris required the company to provide customers rebates and rate reductions.
Kris also ordered the violators of Arizona’s securities laws to pay fines and tens of millions of dollars in restitution to victims. She took on one of the biggest gasoline pipeline companies in America and persuaded its CEO to repair or replace most of the company’s 617 miles of pipelines in Arizona after a major line ruptured in Tucson. And Kris persuaded a monopoly railroad company not to construct a hazardous set-out facility next to a city hospital, school and neighborhood.
Born and raised on a tree farm in Prescott, Kris attended public schools with her brother and sister. Her parents worked as a pharmacist and a teacher, taking care of the farm on nights and weekends.
After graduating from Prescott High School, Kris studied political science and journalism at Arizona State University. Always willing to take on the toughest assignments, she performed her college internship at South Africa’s Johannesburg Star, where she covered the fall of apartheid in 1993. After she graduated from ASU, Kris joined the Phoenix Gazette and Arizona Republic as a working beat reporter. In that post, she covered John McCain’s 2000 campaign for President, travelling across the country behind the Straight Talk Express. She earned her law degree at ASU and a Master’s of Public Administration from Columbia University in New York.
In 2002, Kris joined Janet Napolitano’s campaign for Governor as press secretary. Kris took a senior role in the Napolitano Administration in 2003, an unusual post because she was a Republican working in a Democratic administration. Later that year, Governor Napolitano appointed Kris to serve as Corporation Commissioner. Kris became a Democrat in 2019.
Since 2010, she has worked as a senior sustainability scientist at ASU’s School of Global Sustainability and teaches a course on energy law for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Kris lives in Phoenix with her daughter Hattie.