Doug Ducey promised on Tuesday night to "set Arizona on a better path" following his decisive win in the state's GOP primary for the governor's race.
Ducey spoke to an excited crowd of Republicans at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix after his closest competitor in the six-way primary race, Scott Smith, conceded defeat.
Hitting several GOP-platform highlights, Ducey vowed to take "the best practices of schools, public and charter, and make them standard across the state," adding that he supports "local control" and "free choice for parents." He blasted the "era of Obamacare... and false promises," and criticized the national debt.
"We will make Arizona a shining example of spending discipline," Ducey said, drawing lackluster applause with that line.
One of Ducey's strongest campaign points was his own success at business. He's the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, a company founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland that began with one store in Tempe and grew to a worldwide franchise with hundreds of outlets.
Originally from Ohio, Ducey came to Arizona in 1982 to attend Arizona State University. He graduate with a bachelor of science degree in finance. Ducey's family, including his wife and three sons, joined the candidate on stage.
Ducey must still go up against Democrat Fred DuVal in November's general election. But Ducey mocked DuVal's chances against him.
"I want to congratulate Fred on his big win," Ducey said haughtily. DuVal ran opposed in tonight's Democratic primary. "We know this guy is simply unstoppable, as long as he doesn't have an opponent."
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A superstitious person might say that Ducey just jinxed himself. But after his landslide victory, he can be probably be forgiven for a bit of bluster.
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.