Brenda served eight years in the Arizona State Senate, from 1995 to 2003. In 1997, she became the first Arizona woman to be elected Arizona Senate President. As Senate President, Brenda was instrumental in the formation and passage of the State’s annual budget and reduced the Senate’s multi-million dollar budget by over eight percent.
A champion of taxpayers, Brenda led successful efforts to reduce and keep taxes low for both individuals and businesses. Her persistent emphasis in protecting Arizona citizens from high taxes, high regulatory costs and excessive spending led to her recognition from the U.S. Small Business Administration as a “leader in regulatory reform.”
During her political career, Brenda has worked with leaders from across the United States. As an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), she served on its board for nine years. Brenda became ALEC’s national chairman in 1999. In that role she worked with other national leaders on many issues, with a particular focus on state rights issues.
In 2010, Brenda was elected to a four-year term on the Arizona Corporation Commission. As one of five commissioners, Brenda oversees an agency that has jurisdiction over the formation of corporations, regulation of securities and oversees electric, water, telecom and gas utilities. On the utility side, Brenda has stood up for ratepayers during utility rate cases. One of her first votes was to remove costly electric feed-in tariffs. She has worked with her fellow commissioners to reduce the bill impacts of renewable and energy efficiency surcharges. She has traveled throughout the state to listen to Arizonans express their concerns about utility rates and service outages. She has visited with various communities to warn them about potential investment scams. In addition, Brenda has pushed for the ACC to adopt high-tech solutions in order for residents to better communicate with the agency via video and the internet.
Brenda lives in Scottsdale and is a licensed real estate agent. She is married to Bob Isbell. They have a combined family of six adult children and ten grandchildren.