Former Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey to lead nationwide effort to defend free enterprise, shape country’s economic future 

Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is the new leader of a national initiative to engage voters in the defense of free market principles. The move reflects his commitment to conservative economic policy that he brought to his two-term tenure as governor. 

Ducey says he aims to leverage not only his experience as governor but also his robust network of national leaders and his business savvy, honed during his tenure as CEO of Cold Stone Creamery.

“Lately though, free enterprise is under attack everywhere we turn,” Ducey said in his announcement. “That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of a new effort I’ve been asked to lead – Citizens for Free Enterprise.”

After taking some downtime following the conclusion of his eighth year in office, Ducey says issues like educational opportunity and pro-growth policies still resonate with him and motivate him to stay involved in politics. 

Ducey’s legacy as governor is proving to be an enduring one, as major accomplishments like the expansion of universal school choice through Empowerment Scholarship Accounts have been replicated by governors and legislatures across the country, with eight states adopting the policy just this year.

Ducey’s mix of public and private sector executive experience will be valuable to establishing a counterweight to the attacks on free enterprise and to special interests pursuing legislation detrimental to economic growth.

“Free enterprise is a shot at a better life, a new career, and the pursuit of happiness without the heavy hand of government standing in the way,” Ducey said.

Ducey’s time as governor was marked by the implementation of business-friendly policies including the passage of the lowest flat tax in the country and turning a billion-dollar deficit into a multi-billion-dollar surplus. 

His focus on a more customer-oriented, people-focused approach led to a leaner state government, despite a burgeoning population.

National business leaders, who are battling a two-front battle of progressivism and populism in their pursuit of job-creating policies, hailed the news that Ducey would be leading the new venture.

“Few national leaders can match Governor Doug Ducey’s track record as an advocate for free enterprise,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden said. “During his time as governor, Gov. Ducey’s belief in the power of the free market led to record job growth in Arizona and a red-hot economy. National business leaders and fellow governors took notice and now are putting his example to work in their states. This new initiative is a perfect platform for the Arizona model to grow across the country.”

Glenn Hamer, the president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business agreed. 

“Doug Ducey was born to lead an organization called Citizens for Free Enterprise,” Hamer said. “The U.S. business community walked away incredibly impressed following Gov. Ducey’s eight years as governor. He cut taxes, reduced regulations, drove best-in-class licensing and education reform, promoted free trade and Arizona’s economy soared. He’s the right person to ignite a passion for free market principles in a new generation of voters across the country and rally them to the cause of a prosperous, free-market America.”

Ducey is no stranger to sharing Arizona’s success and advocating for the free market outside the state. During his time as governor, Ducey served successive terms as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, helping to raise campaign funds for governors and collaborating on policy with Republican governors across the country.

Michael Kittilson

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