AZ governor's race: Doug Ducey unseats rivals for GOP nod - FOX Carolina 21

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AZ governor's race: Doug Ducey unseats rivals for GOP nod

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Doug Ducey is officially Arizona's Republican nominee for governor.

Ducey clinched his party's nomination in Tuesday's primary election, defeating five other opponents, plus two write-in candidates, in one of the nation's most hotly contested gubernatorial race.  

It was a crowded race. The full slate of Republican candidates was:

  • Ken Bennett, currently AZ Secretary of State
  • Doug Ducey, currently AZ State Treasurer and former chief executive officer of Coldstone Creamery
  • Christine Jones, Former Go Daddy executive
  • Frank Riggs, AZ politician
  • Scott Smith, former Mesa mayor
  • Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County Attorney
  • Mike Aloisi (write-in), Scottsdale resident
  • Alice Lukasik (write-in), Camp Verde resident

The candidates spent millions on advertising and crisscrossed the state for months, attending barbecues, chamber of commerce meetings and other events to get their messages out.

Ducey will face Democrat Fred DuVal, who ran unopposed, in the November general election.

In a packed hall, Ducey declared victory. Here is the complete text of his acceptance speech:

"Before I start let me just say, 'It's a great day for ice cream.'

We set out on this primary campaign promising to give our very best efforts, to run with a full heart and press on to the finish. Tonight, our best efforts have brought us victory.

I'm proud of the campaign we've run and the obstacles we've overcome. I thank the voters for their confidence and all of you for seeing me through the long contest that is now behind us.

I'm grateful above all for my faith and family. Win or lose in any election, the best thing I've got going for me will always be my wife Angela. And though I haven't seen as much of them as I'd like lately, Angela and I couldn't be more proud of our sons Jack, Joe and Sam.

It helps when things get rough to have dependable friends in your corner.  And in Arizona there are none finer than:

  • Jon Kyl
  • John Shadegg
  • Trent Franks
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Jane Dee Hull
  • Lea Marquez Peterson
  • Fife Symington  
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio
  • Among many others

I thank them all for the trust and good advice that have carried us this far.

I've spent a lot of time in the company of my Republican opponents – Ken, Scott, Christine, Andy and Frank. And in a contested primary, it's not always easy to see each other's finer points. But along the way, I learned to respect the strengths of each of my Republican opponents. It's not for nothing that so many good people worked for my opponents and believed in them. I applaud – as all of us should – their commitment to public service. 

Tonight, I want every Republican voter to know that you are welcome in this campaign; we need you and I'm asking for your support.

We are halfway home and now the real race begins. I've run hard in this primary, against able and worthy opponents. I will keep running hard as your nominee. And with the honor of your support, we will win this election for governor.

The Democratic Party also chose its nominee tonight. In case you haven't heard, it was a clean sweep for Fred DuVal. And I congratulate Fred on his big win. We now know that the man is simply unstoppable – as long as he has no opponent.

Starting tonight, it's a different story, an election with real choices. And I intend to use these next 70 days to make the choice as clear as possible to voters, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents in every part of our state.

If anyone asks you what this campaign is about, tell them it comes down to one single idea – that Arizona should be a place of opportunity for all. 

For too many men and women in this state, the recession never ended. And as your governor, my first priority will be a strong and growing economy – so that hard work is rewarded and everyone who wants a job can find a job.

And we will fix our education system. Our schools must do better. We are going to take the best practices of our best schools – both public and charter – and make them the standard all across this state. We'll reform education in Arizona, without more meddling from the federal government: The answer isn't Common Core – its common sense. 

We will focus on solid teaching, local control and free choices for parents so every child in Arizona receives a quality education to help achieve their dreams.

In so many ways, the federal government could do us all a great service by attending to its own most basic responsibilities, starting with a secure border and a well-defended nation. 

In recent years, federal policies have been the opposite of good government – showing us what not to do.

We will set Arizona on a better path, in keeping with the values so many of us share – whatever our background, whatever our party.

In this era of ObamaCare, with all its needless regulations and false promises, we will find a better way to protect the health, privacy and freedom of the people of Arizona.

At a time of dangerous debt for America, we will make Arizona a shining example of spending discipline. 

In the face of tough budget choices, the default position of the special interests is always to raise taxes.  That's the same mindset we were up against two years ago with Proposition 204.  Well, we won that election, and this time around, we will stand up again for the taxpayers of Arizona.

I have a very clear agenda:

  • Kick start our economy
  • Improve K-12 education
  • Get Arizona out from underneath the thumb of the federal government
  • Be good stewards of the land and water
  • Uphold constitutional rights
  • Safeguard our citizens, especially the most vulnerable
  • And above all make Arizona the safest state in the nation for children

These are commitments I have made – to make our state a more just, compassionate and welcoming place. And now I will make my case to all the voters, in every part of Arizona. 

We are not finished building this broad coalition. The ten weeks ahead will be filled with serious debates and a lot of hard work – and I am ready. And if you are ready to make Arizona the reforming, job-creating and welcoming place that we are meant to be, then I ask for your help, because this campaign is for you. 

Every day, I will state my convictions and respect those of others. I will run as I intend to serve.

I want to be the governor for all the people and in this campaign I will reach out to all the people. 

You have my word that as the Republican nominee, I will keep giving this race the best that is in me and I will earn the vote by showing the best that is in Arizona. 

Thank you and God Bless Arizona."

DuVal released this statement at the conclusion of GOP gubernatorial primary:

"Arizona's future is bright. We have something special here, the pioneer culture; we're entrepreneurs and we care about our communities. What's been missing are leaders who care less about party politics and more about building a future where we work together and grow our economy.

Arizonans are ready for a governor who brings people together to stop the cuts to our schools, grow our economy, and put an end to divisiveness. We're ready for November, and the opportunity to get Arizona moving forward again."

The winner will succeed Jan Brewer, who assumed office on Jan. 21, 2009, when then-Gov. Janet Napolitano resigned after being selected as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Sen. John McCain said Tuesday night, "I would hope tonight every one of those men and women who ran for governor would pledge their support for Doug Ducey and urge their supporters to do so - bring the party back together."

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