Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. If you haven’t voted yet, here’s a quick look at which candidates the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes deserve your vote, and where we stand on important propositions.
Governor: Doug Ducey. Gov. Ducey in his first term has proven that he understands what state government needs to do in order to create an environment for job creation. Since taking office, he’s righted the state’s finances, put Arizona at the top of the list of the best places to do business in the country, infused millions into our education system, and dramatically enhanced our relationship with Mexico. Under his watch, Arizona’s tax code has gotten more competitive, our regulatory environment has become more welcoming, and our education system is producing outstanding results, and it’s doing so with more resources thanks to the state’s strong economy.
His leadership is delivering average statewide teacher salary increases of 20 percent by school year 2020-21, which has dramatically enhanced the teacher pay picture in Arizona. He signed into law a 20-year extension of a funding source for K-12 and higher education that will prevent any interruptions in school budgeting. Gov. Ducey has easily earned the endorsement of Arizona’s business community.
Secretary of State: Steve Gaynor. Ensuring that our elections process runs smoothly and that all stakeholders, from voters to county recorders to candidates, are treated fairly and provided expert service, is paramount. The responsibility entrusted in the Secretary of State is enormous. Having another successful businessperson like Gaynor in statewide office will only help Arizona continue its economic momentum.
Attorney General: Mark Brnovich. A state’s legal environment is crucial to its ability to attract jobs. We want employers investing in new innovations, expansions, and hiring, not paying lawyers to fend off dubious lawsuits. No one understands that better than Mark Brnovich. General Brnovich has a deep respect for the rule of law, pushes back hard against federal overreach, and protects consumers from scam artists.
His work to develop the regulatory structure known as the Fintech Sandbox has captured global attention, has positioned Arizona on the leading edge of technological innovation, and is poised to ignite a flurry of economic activity.
His dogged determination to ensure that small businesses aren’t subjected to abusive lawsuits has been noted and appreciated by job creators across the state. He knows that our judicial system should be used to deliver justice, not to line the pockets of trial attorneys just interested in making a quick buck. He deserves reelection.
Treasurer: Kimberly Yee. During her time as a state legislator, few elected officials have demonstrated a willingness and a desire to enhance Arizona’s business environment like Kimberly Yee. On a whole host of issues, she has worked diligently to make state government more responsive to the needs of job creators. She has demonstrated throughout her career a commitment to fiscal prudence and to protecting the interests of taxpayers. The Arizona Chamber has no doubt that Kimberly Yee will be an outstanding state treasurer.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Frank Riggs. From Capitol Hill to education sector leadership to business, Frank Riggs has a proven record of integrity and results. Arizona’s job creators look forward to working with Frank to ensure that Arizona’s students have access to schools that will prepare them for a brighter tomorrow. We are proud to stand with former Superintendents Lisa Graham Keegan and Jaime Molera and endorse Frank Riggs.
Mine Inspector: Joe Hart. Year after year, Mine Inspector Joe Hart has worked to make Arizona’s mining environment safer while working with the industry in a collaborative way to ensure that an economic sector that is so important to the state’s legacy continues to flourish. The Arizona Chamber strongly recommends that voters grant Joe Hart another term as mine inspector.
Supreme Court judges
Supreme Court Justices Clint Bolick and John Pelander have both earned retention. They are prudent, thoughtful jurists who have each received outstanding ratings from the Judicial Performance Review. Unfortunately, they have both been subjected to wild accusations by activists questioning their independence and integrity due the Court’s correct decision on the fate of a misleading proposition that called for a major tax increase on every Arizona taxpayer. A vote to retain Bolick and Pelander is a vote to preserve an independent, coequal judiciary.
Vote NO on Proposition 127. Proposition 127 would enshrine in the state constitution unreasonable mandates on Arizona communities, and is not aligned with Arizona’s previously established renewable energy goals, which Arizona is on track to meet. If passed, the measure would dramatically harm Arizona’s competitiveness, put our utilities’ reliable delivery of power at risk, and would send the wrong message about Arizona’s economic development environment. If this mandate were to pass, it would mean dramatically higher energy prices – estimates are that corporate and industrial rates would rise over 100 percent, and residential ratepayers would see an average annual increase of $1,250 – which would create a significant drag on the overall economy and reduce the state’s competitive standing.
The campaign to pass Proposition 127 has been bankrolled by a California activist billionaire who won’t have to live with the consequences of his radical agenda. Vote no on Proposition 127 and protect Arizona ratepayers and the state’s economy.
Vote YES on Proposition 125. Proposition 125, which has broad bipartisan support, helps safeguard taxpayers and businesses of all sizes by reducing the potential for future tax increases to support public pension systems. Proposition 125 provides a simple fix to an unsustainable pension increase formula for Arizona’s retired corrections officers, elected officials and judges. This change allows these public pension plans to provide promised retirement benefits while also reducing state and local government’s long-term pension costs. The trend of rising public pension expenses threatens to crowd out other vital government services that make Arizona’s cities and towns attractive to businesses and employees. Simply put, our governments’ abilities to pay for infrastructure, transportation, and other needs will continue to decline as they are forced to divert more and more money to cover increasing public retirement expenses. A yes vote on Proposition 125 is a wise decision.
A full list of our endorsements for state Legislature is available on our website. We have endorsed a slate of outstanding candidates who are all committed to advancing public policy that makes Arizona more economically competitive. They are prepared to undertake their work at the Capitol to make Arizona the absolute best place in the country to grow a business thanks to attractive tax, workforce, regulatory and education environments.
Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry