Republican Doug Ducey will be the next governor of Arizona, having beaten Democratic candiate Fred DuVal soundly in unofficial results Tuesday evening.
It was a landslide, with the ice cream mogul beating the Democratic lobbyist by about 12 points.
"I will work every day to make you proud," Ducey told a cheering crowd at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in his victory speech. "Nothing hinders opportunity in a state like high taxes and reckless spending, and we're not going to be in that business these next four years. We will limit the growth of government by limiting the spending of government."
Ducey pledged to "focus dollars" on education. He previously said he may appeal a court ruling for extra school funding that could cost the state up $1.6 billion.
He described how he came to Arizona from Ohio in 1982 in his Datsun, saying he believes the state can provide similar opportunity for future residents. (He didn't mention leaving behind an extended family with a long history in organized crime.) Ducey later helped grow locally founded Cold Stone Creamery into a franchise giant and was elected State Treasurer in 2010 and again in 2012.
In his concession speech, DuVal blamed the national mood, a "registration disadvantage" and spending by his opponent as some of the reasons for his loss.
Republicans at the GOP election-results party at the Hyatt Regency hotel ballroom in downtown Phoenix were in an upbeat mood throughout the evening as politicians of their party were seen to win in other states. In a Republican-leaning night nationwide in which Democrats lost the majority in the U.S. Senate, Arizona right-wingers were in a jubilant mood as more state and local numbers came in.
Robert Graham, chairman of the state Republican Party, joked about wins of Treasurer Jeff DeWit and Mine Inspector Joe Hart — neither had opponents. But some Republicans seemed genuinely surprised as the night went on when results showed probable wins by Michelle Reagan over longtime politician Terry Goddard for Secretary of State, and Diane Douglas over David Garcia for schools superintendent.
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In the state Attorney General's race, Mark Brnovich gave a victory speech (admitting he didn't know if the race had been called) — but opponent Felecia Rotellini about 11 p.m. still wasn't ready to concede.
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