Guest Editorial: Three Faces of Governor Ducey

By Scottsdale Pinetop

As Governor Ducey ramps up for his re-election campaign, voters will be presented with three vastly different sides of his time as Arizona’s Governor.

His campaign will depict him as Arizona’s conservative hero who champions for the state. His opponents will depict him as a traitor of the Trump administration. Finally, Democrats will depict him as an uncaring, cold-hearted and out-of-touch with the people of Arizona.

But if there’s one things that’s been consistent about Governor Ducey’s it’s that he’s an in the moment kind of politician.

In his 2014 campaign, he ran as a conservative reformer. His goals included promoting school choice, enforcing wait-lists for high-performance charter schools and cut income taxes to nearly zero. However, after four years none of these have been executed. In fact, in most cases there wasn’t even an attempt. Instead of pursuing the traditional conservative agenda, Ducey has spent most of his term managing situations as they arise.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. His term as Governor began a little shaky. He inherited a general fund deficit of around $1 billion which he resolved by additional budget cut that semi-balanced the state’s finances. The rise in school shooting motivated Ducey to create a school safety program that was unable to survive gun control politics. And after a decade of frustration over budget cuts to K-12 education that birthed the #RedforEd, Ducey responded by advocating a massive increase in state funding for education in the budget, earmarking the large amount to go towards teacher pay.

Aside from resolving the deficit he inherited, it’s fair to say that actions are more reaction to events rather than setting a political course for the state. Apparently this time around, Governor Ducey is setting a second-term agenda that focuses on the political future of the state. Saying you will deal with stuff as it comes up isn’t much of a campaign slogan. Regardless, Ducey did manage situations that landed on his desk, which is sometimes all someone can ask for in a politician. Governance could be worse. It’ll be up to the voters to decide if Ducey is suitable for another four years in office.