Israel G. Torres is the Managing Partner of Torres Consulting & Law Group headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. Founded in 2006, the firm is a premier political consulting and law firm providing unique and integrated expertise in government relations, labor law, and campaign finance and election law. Mr. Torres represents clients in legal, regulatory and contractual matters, as well as lays the strategic and government-relations groundwork for the firm’s clients. Under his guidance, the firm has built national relationships among government, labor, private industry, and social service sectors to champion policies that improve the lives of all Arizonans. The firm is recognized as a one-stop shop for legal and political matters, and has been recognized by Phoenix Business Journal as one of Arizona’s Best Places to Work in 2011, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Mr. Torres previously served as a member of Governor Janet Napolitano’s cabinet as the Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). As the regulatory authority of Arizona’s booming construction industry from 2003 to 2006, Mr. Torres won wide recognition as a fair and respected regulator. He reformed the ROC’s mission and brought innovation and service enhancements to the state’s 52,000 licensed contractors while developing nationally recognized initiatives to protect homeowners and vulnerable seniors statewide.
Prior to working for the State of Arizona, Mr. Torres served as Chief of Staff for then City of Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton, and as a Zoning Adjustment Hearing Officer.
In 2006, Mr. Torres won the Arizona Democratic Primary and was elected as the Democratic nominee for Arizona’s second highest constitutional office – Arizona Secretary of State.
Mr. Torres has been recognized by civic groups, publications, and professional organizations for his commitment to the community. He was named the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year and also recognized by the chamber as its 2006 Man of the Year. Arizona State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences named Mr. Torres to the CLAS Leaders program, which recognizes distinguished alumni who have brought honor to the university and the college through their personal successes in business, research and community service. Mr. Torres’ other accolades include Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 leaders, Southern Arizona Homebuilders Public Official of the Year 2005 and 2006, U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Center Service Firm of the Year, and Area Agency on Aging’s Caring Spirit Award of Excellence. He was a member of Valley Leadership’s Class XXI and Arizona Town Hall in 2007.
Mr. Torres currently serves on the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Board of Directors. He has served on the boards of directors for the Children’s Action Alliance and Arizona Consumers Council, and was president of the National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies. He also has provided his time and leadership to Friendly House and coaching for Tempe Little League. Mr. Torres has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Maricopa Community College System and is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences nationwide.
Mr. Torres is a member of the state and federal Bar. He attained a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
On a personal note, Israel spends most of his time with his two children. He cheers on his hometown Arizona Cardinals, but is a life-long Chargers fan. He is still hoping the Bolts will win a Super Bowl within his lifetime! Israel is also an avid outdoorsman–whether it be mountain biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, skiing, camping, hunting, geocaching, or riding his Polaris, he will likely be enjoying the Arizona outdoors!
Arizona State Bar
J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law
B.A., Political Science, Arizona State University
English & Spanish
Laura Garcia, operations director, organizes and coordinates firm operations and procedures to create efficiency and achieve financial goals. She also develops customized communications strategies for our clients. She supports staff supervision, implements human resource policies and performance management, assists with overall working conditions, evaluates training needs and recruits talent.
Laura was born and raised in San Bernardino, Calif., where her parents were public school teachers. Summers were spent with family in Phoenix, working on political campaigns or state-wide initiatives.
After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University, Laura spent 20 years in insurance. She started investigating and analyzing auto, injury and health claims, then she moved into managing high-performing teams focused on organizational management and workforce training. She also owned and operated her own insurance agency.
Laura enjoys giving back to the community. She has served on the board of Friendly House, accreditation committee for Desert Garden Montessori, South Mountain Community College – President’s Advisory Council, Girl Scouts Latina Circle of Influence and AZ Saves Financial Literacy project as an instructor.
On a personal note, Laura spends most of her spare time with her two daughters. She enjoys getting together with her extended family and friends. Laura also enjoys politics, reading, hiking and all sports, whether participating or watching. She loves the outdoors and aspires to hike as many trails in Arizona as possible.
Attorney Jim Barton leads TCLG’s legal team, advising the firm on a wide range of legal and policy matters from the application of state and federal prevailing wage laws, to Freedom of Information Act and public records request litigation, to effective execution of political action plans.
Before joining TCLG, Barton served as an Arizona assistant attorney general, representing the Secretary of State, Citizens Clean Election Commission and the Independent Redistricting Commission. Before serving the state, Barton worked as an associate attorney at the Phoenix law firm Perkins Coie Brown and Bain, focusing on political and construction law.
Early in his career, Barton clerked for Arizona Chief Justice Ruth McGregor. He earned his Juris Doctor from Arizona State University and his Bachelor of Arts in physics and philosophy from Northwestern University. Barton also served as a Submarine Warfare Office on board U.S.S. Billfish (SSN 676) and was qualified as a Senior Reactor Operator by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
On a personal note, Jim and his wife, Pat, have two adult children – James and Kate. Jim is a member of Chalice Christian Church and enjoys talking politics and theology, watching Kevin Smith movies and travelling.
Jacqueline Mendez Soto’s diverse background allows her to provide legal services to Torres Law Group clients on a variety of matters. She represents clients on employment and labor matters, including employment discrimination and employee grievances. She also represents individuals in family and juvenile matters, including divorce, parenting plan agreements, adoptions, and guardianships.
Before joining TLG, Jacqueline served as in-house counsel of labor affairs for U-Haul International, Inc., which provided her with a corporate perspective on managing legal matters. Previously, Jacqueline was an associate in the labor and employment group of Snell & Wilmer, LLP, where she represented clients before the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Jacqueline has also practiced in family law, juvenile law and probate law fields. In family matters, she has represented clients in dissolution proceedings, parenting plan agreements, child support orders and modifications of parenting plans and child support orders. In juvenile matters, she represented individuals in private parental severance proceedings. She has also represented clients in private adoptions and adoptions involving the Department of Child Safety. In probate matters, Jacqueline is experienced in juvenile and dependent adult guardianship matters. She also advises clients on estate planning matters, including preparation of wills.
Upon completion of her legal studies, Jacqueline was honored to serve as a judicial law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals for now Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer of the Arizona Supreme Court. Prior to law school, Jacqueline was a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board where she investigated unfair labor practices and facilitated representation elections between unions and employers.
Jacqueline has volunteered her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Maricopa County Superior Court, where she advocated on behalf of children in the foster care system. She also volunteers with the Tempe Community Action Agency I-HELP Homeless Shelter Program.
On a personal note, Jacqueline and her husband, Jaime, have three children. She enjoys weekend morning bike rides with her family and exploring new restaurants. Her pastimes include running, reading and relaxing.
Arizona State Bar
J.D., Boston College Law School
B.S., Justice Studies, Arizona State University
English & Spanish
RoAnne Edick serves as administrative assistant to Managing Partner Israel Torres. She provides support to the executive staff and completes projects as needed. RoAnne was previously an executive assistant for a non-profit association and at a local tax office. She also is a writer/editor/event planner and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. She has volunteered for the Arizona Democratic Party, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
On a personal note, RoAnne enjoys politics, writing, reading, movies, exploring Arizona ghost towns, and watching the ID Discovery Channel. She’s a proud mother of two young adults who attend ASU.
Monse Vejar serves Torres Law Group’s Legal Secretary. Her experience in the judicial field has provided her with much insight into various types of cases. She brings years of knowledge supporting legal teams, having worked with different types of case filings. Monse previously served as a Deputy Clerk in the Maricopa County Clerk’s Office and as a Judicial Assistant for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.
On a personal note, Monse enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, traveling, and attending live music events.
Melissa Robinson serves as Torres Law Group’s paralegal. Originally hailing from Nutley, New Jersey, Melissa moved to Arizona in 2001; and although Nutley will always be her hometown, she just loves it here in the Grand Canyon state. Melissa holds a degree in Paralegal Studies from Rio Salado College, and has years of experience handling active litigation matters on various types of cases.
On a personal note, Melissa spends her free time relaxing with her husband and two daughters, and their two pets- Kirby, an orange tabby cat, and Bubbles, a golden Labrador retriever. She enjoys reading, hiking, and watching reruns of “Friends” over and over again.
Stephanie Bockrath, government relations specialist, assists clients with the implementation of strategic communications plans, the management of political action committees, and the analysis and reporting on legislation germane to the client’s political position.
Stephanie is a graduate of Arizona State University studying Political Science and Women & Gender Studies. During her time at school, she held many on campus positions in event planning, student outreach and marketing, and led ASU’s West campus as Student Body President. In 2016 she was a Page at the Arizona House of Representatives and interned at the local nonprofit, Phoenix Sister Cities. Most recently she completed an internship at the State Senate working for Democratic Policy Staff analyzing issues on the Commerce, Finance and Appropriations committees.
On a personal note, Stephanie enjoys hiking, watching television, politics, spending time with her two younger sisters and exploring new restaurants in Phoenix and Southern California with her boyfriend.
Christian Bearden, government relations specialist, assists clients with the implementation of strategic communications plans, the management of political action committees, and the analysis and reporting on legislation germane to the client’s political position.
Christian worked at the Arizona House of Representatives as a Policy Intern in 2013. After graduating from Arizona State University, Christian volunteered at the Workers’ Rights Clinic where he helped workers with various employment disputes. As a student at James E. Rogers College of Law he interned as a Research Assistant for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Tucson. Upon graduating with his Juris Doctorate, Christian became the Project Coordinator of the Upper Rio Yaqui Basin where he worked to protect endangered species.
On a personal note, Christian and his wife spend most of their free time cheering on the local sports teams, gardening, cooking and exploring the outdoors with their dog.
Mark Cardenas, Legislative Affairs Specialist, represents clients at the local, state, and national level and assists them in building productive relationships that further their missions. As a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives and an active member of the community, Mark has a solid track record of working with leaders and stakeholders to support policies that protect Arizona’s most vulnerable residents, prioritize public safety, uphold the integrity of the criminal justice system, and protect the environment.
Mark grew up in Phoenix and is a graduate of Washington High School. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army serving eight years as a Military Policeman. Mark was deployed to Iraq where he earned an Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Badge.
When he returned to civilian life, he studied International Relations at the University of Southern California and began working on political campaigns. In 2012, Mark was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives (LD 19) and served through 2019. During his time at the Legislature, he worked with Republicans and Democrats to expand AHCCCS coverage, pass legislation that protected homeowners from theft, and preserve $50 million in public safety funding for the City of Phoenix. He worked with local school districts to address child neglect and abuse, fought for services for people experiencing homelessness, secured funding to hire additional public defenders, and championed the effort to clean up polluted groundwater in South Phoenix.
Mark is committed to improving his community. He serves as a board member of HECHO where he works on conservation issues, and is a member of the Estrella Village Planning Committee. He’s also passionate about veterans’ issues and is an active member of VFW Post 6310.
On a personal note, Mark loves Phoenix and wants everyone to feel as proud of his city as he feels every day. He enjoys spending time with his fiancée Lynn and dog Osito.