Doug Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery and current treasurer of Arizona, is running for governor of Arizona. He talked to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez on why he wants to be governor and why it is worth the effort in a crowded primary field.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What’s a Toledo boy doing running for governor of Arizona?
DOUG DUCEY: Like many of us in Arizona, I wasn’t born here — I’m a product of the Midwest and the working class. In fact, unless I’m talking to the cotton growers’ council, most rooms I’m in around the state are filled with people who weren’t born here but came to Arizona because it’s a welcoming place filled with opportunity. You still find a great sense of possibility here, and I want to make sure that Arizona stays that way. I want us to be the welcoming, job-creating state we’ve been from the start, a place where everybody’s got a chance.
: It’s a big field — there are nine
of you running in the primary. Why bother?
DUCEY: When I officially kicked off my candidacy in February, I pledged that no one would outwork me on this election. And that pledge would be the same with one primary opponent or eight. Running to do a job as important as the governor’s shouldn’t be easy; it should take a lot of work, and I’m out there giving my best every day. I’ve had to cut out a lot of favorite things from the schedule, but I’m still reading my National Review!
LOPEZ: How would your tenure as governor be like or unlike Jan Brewer’s?
DUCEY: I think Governor Brewer has done a very good job navigating some tough fiscal times for our state, and I intend to keep our state’s budget in check. The next governor will have the opportunity to pick up where she left off and “up our game” here in Arizona. I’m a pro-growth, small-government conservative with a background in free enterprise. I built a business, now I want to shrink a government and grow an economy.
LOPEZ: Arizona has this national reputation at this point for harshness — toward immigrants, toward anyone with same-sex attractions. What do you make of that? Is it fair? Would you do things differently to give people a different impression of the state?
DUCEY: The idea of Arizona as a harsh, intolerant place is a storyline that liberals have been working since Barry Goldwater rose to national prominence 50 years ago. Anyone who thinks that way about our state hasn’t spent much time here. The only thing harsh about Arizona is the 115-degree temperature in the summer.
I moved out here to attend college in 1982, and when I packed up my Datsun-B210 to drive from Toledo to Tempe, I didn’t know one person here. But it felt like I fit right in, because in Arizona you meet people from all over America, and that’s still true today. What I found is a diverse state where rights are respected, hard work is rewarded, and all that most people want from government is a chance to get ahead. I had my opportunity when some friends and I built Cold Stone Creamery, and I want everyone here to have that same chance to succeed.
Just like anywhere else, you’re going to find a lot of good people who have strong feelings on the issues. And as a conservative, I can’t expect everyone to agree with me on every issue every time. But Arizonans are friendly, easygoing, and fair-minded, and my administration will reflect that spirit. We’ll treat everyone with dignity and respect. I’ll listen respectfully to different opinions, and people will always know where I stand.