Doug Ducey, former Arizona treasurer and ex-CEO of the Cold Stone Creamery franchise, will take office today as the state's next governor.
Arizona voters have set the state on a new track, with a leader who wouldn't sell out the state to Obamacare, hinder the goals of corporations, or squander public money on education.
But is this really a good thing?
Ducey will be inaugurated along with other elected officials at a ceremony starting at noon today at the state Capitol.
Hope soars in this chilly winter air.
As in, Republican leaders hope Ducey's the rubber-stamping stooge of their dreams, and Democrats hope he won't lead a scorched-earth campaign against schools, women, and immigrants.
The happier group -- during the honeymoon period, anyway -- will be Republicans.
Ducey was elected in November by a landslide against Democrat competitor Fred DuVal, which wasn't much of a surprise to anyone. Having campaigned on an unapologetically conservative platform and taken in "dark money" from GOP supporters, Ducey seems prepared to move on a right wing agenda.
His "Roadmap to Opportunity and Freedom" provides a good primer of the taxes he'd like to cut, regulations he wants to stymie and power he'd like to see the state take back from the federal government. He wants to roll back abortion rights, enforce federal immigration law and "shrink government." Like a true politician, he vows to take money away from school districts while simultaneously boosting classroom spending.
Some Democrats we know already hate him -- or are fearful of him. But we won't really know what kind of governor Ducey will make until after today.
Here's a list of the top officials being sworn into office today:
Governor-elect: Douglas A. Ducey
Secretary of State-elect: Michele L. Reagan
Attorney General-elect: Mark Brnovich
Treasurer-elect: Jeffrey J. DeWit
Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect: Diane M. Douglas
State Mine Inspector-elect: Joe Hart
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President Obama's coming to town on Thursday, so at least we'll know whether Ducey is the type of governor who, like the woman he's replacing, gives the president a reproachful finger.
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.