Doug Ducey

During a speech at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce Economic Update Forum on June 26, State Treasurer Doug Ducey emphasized the state's ability to build up its savings after it was $730 million in the hole as of 2009. [Eric Mungenast/Tribune]

Eric Mungenast/Tribune

Doug Ducey told Republicans in Ahwatukee Tuesday night that he wants them to vote for him because they believe in his vision of a growing economy and a shrinking government.

Ducey was the speaker at the most recent Ahwatukee Republican Women meeting at the Clarion hotel. When asked what makes him the best candidate for governor, he refused to speak ill of his primary opponents.

“The biggest difference between me and the other candidate is I’m a conservative Republican and Fred DuVal is a Democrat,” he said. “I follow Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment; I’m not going to speak ill of any other Republican. I’m running on my real-world record.”

Ducey is best known for being CEO of Cold Stone Creamery. The ice cream business started in Arizona and when Ducey and his partners sold the business in 2007, he said they had 1,440 stores nationwide. Today, the company has stores in 25 countries.

“There’s only one candidate in the race that built a brand that is known and loved around the country and now the world,” he said.

“I’ve been your treasurer for nearly four years managing $12.5 billion. By any measure of good management, total state assets are growing faster and in better condition today than they were four years ago. I want you to evaluate me on stopping a $1 billion permanent tax increase, also passing Prop 118 that put more dollars into K-12 classrooms consistently and reliably.

“Most important, I want you to vote for me for my vision for the future. Arizona can lead the nation in economic development in job creation, business relocation and outcomes in K-12 classrooms.”

Ducey told the group that as governor, his goal would be to reduce regulation and taxes to build the economy. He has published a plan to get income taxes as close to zero as possible in the state and find revenue in other areas to help improve education and public safety.

John King, candidate for the state House of Representatives in Legislative District 18, also spoke at the meeting. King is a Kyrene School District board member running for the state Legislature so he can reduce waste and create more flexibility for school districts to use their funds as they see fit.

“I want to see what we can do to fix school finances,” he said. “Reality of the situation is we don’t need to raise taxes or have any more budget overrides. What we need to do is fix the school finance and budgeting formulas that exist. They are very complex formulas and they don’t need to be. School districts end up with money left over at the end of the year and they can’t touch it. The reason they can’t touch it is because it’s restricted funding. We want to go change some of that so we can have more money going into the classrooms.”

King is also a business owner and hopes his experience in business will also help him make a difference in the Legislature.

Early ballots for the primary will go out at the end of July. Ducey will face Ken Bennett, Christine Jones, Frank Riggs, Scott Smith and Andrew Thomas in the Republican primary for governor. For more information on Ducey, visit

King will face Jill Norgaard, David Pheanis and Bob Robson in the primary for LD 18. For more information on King, visit

LD 18 Republicans are planning a candidate forum with 14 candidates to be held at 7 p.m. July 23 at Arizona Community Church, 9325 S. Rural Road in Tempe.

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