As the 2018 midterm election is quickly approaching, Arizonans will decide who they want to hold a variety of offices throughout the state.
Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is facing reelection. The incumbent, known for his business-friendly policy stances, is facing off against David Garcia (D), a military veteran and former teacher.
In a race that started neck-and-neck after the primary, it appears Ducey has pulled ahead as election day nears. According to a recent poll by OH Predictive Insight and Arizona Capitol Times, Ducey has taken a double-digit lead over Garcia.
“Governor Ducey is dominating the vote with a 17-point-lead,” Mike Noble, chief pollster of OHPI, said in the report. “The incumbent clearly has a large support system behind him.”
Ducey moved to Tempe, Arizona in 1982 to attend Arizona State University. During college, Ducey worked at an Anheuser-Busch distributor. After graduating he began working at Procter & Gamble until he became the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery.
Ducey then ran for the position of Arizona’s Treasurer, where he served from 2011-2015. In 2014, he ran a successful campaign for Governor and was inaugurated into office in 2015.
Ducey believes Arizonans should vote for him because he has balanced the state’s budget, resolved education lawsuits and grown the economy to a point that allows the government to give teachers a 20 percent pay raise and invest $2.7 billion towards schools.
“Well I want Arizonans to remember where we were four years ago.” he said. “I would like Arizonans to vote for me because there’s a lot more work to do, we’ve got a momentum that can’t be stopped. We’ve got a plan [and] I would like to secure Arizona’s future both economically, from a budgetary perspective, and making our neighborhoods, our schools, and our border more safe.”
According to Ducey, his top three priorities are education, the economy, and public safety.
“Education is a top issue and will always be a top issue. My commitment is to get more money over and above inflation every year that I’m Governor, to prioritize the 20 percent pay increases for our hardworking teachers, to get more money inside the classroom and to bring the teachers academy to life,” he said.
His plan to fund schools includes three steps:
- Prioritizing teachers and public schools;
- Take government revenues from the state budget and make sure they’re distributed properly to K-12 institutions, targeting outcomes and results;
- Focus on growing the economy to add additional resources that can be used for K-12 education.
Ducey says he wants to make sure the government stays out of the way so that big- and small-business entrepreneurs can innovate and continue to create jobs and grow Arizona’s economy.
“Right now, our economy is heading in a great direction,” Ducey said. “I [will] focus on simplifying our tax code, reducing regulations, and making sure we have ample water, reliable energy, and an education system that’s working for our citizens.”
According to Ducey, “border security is national security. My focus has been on public safety, we’ve created the border strike force.”
He believes that one of the first facets of public safety is border security, saying that the border strike force – which is the Department of Public Safety partnering with border sheriffs, local law enforcement and border patrol agents – has had significant success in interdicting illegal and dangerous drugs.
He also says that as Governor he will continue to fight against the drug cartels, human trafficking, and child-sex trafficking.
Ducey ended the interview saying, “there’s a clear contrast in this campaign. We have one person who wants to secure Arizona’s future economy, in the budget, and at the border and the other person has a very different view… I’m hoping people will embrace the positive direction that [my] administration is taking the state of Arizona in.”
Editor’s Note: Chamber Business News reached out to Garcia’s campaign multiple times but did not receive a response. The information below is from the candidate’s website.
Garcia is a fourth generation Arizona native, who enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry at age 17. He then graduated from Arizona State University, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college. After his time at ASU, he received a masters and doctorate in education research and has been nationally-recognized as an expert in education research and policy.
Garcia was an Arizona teacher and served as a research analyst for the Arizona State Senate, after becoming the Associate Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education. He is currently a professor at Arizona State University.
Garcia has three issues listed on his website: stable families, a fair economy, and honest, effective government.
Under stable families he lists; commitment to public education; investing in childhood; protecting our children; immigrant families are Arizona families; a champion for Arizona women; fairness for all families; protecting outdoor Arizona for our children and families; and healthy families as his top priorities to help keep Arizona families stable.
To create an honest & effective government he lists; putting an end to current corruption; the courage to stand up for public safety; fighting for our democracy; and keeping families together through responsible criminal justice solutions as top priorities.
Lastly, his bullet points for a fair economy are putting working families first; making Arizona a solar superpower; investing in Arizona’s tech future; and investing in a competitive and dynamic workforce.
The election will be held on November 6, 2018. To find your polling location, click here.