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Doug Ducey ‘encouraged’ by fundraising in possible run for Arizona governor

PHOENIX — A potential candidate for Arizona governor says he’s encouraged by the response he’s been getting.

State Treasurer Doug Ducey said over $1 million was raised for his exploratory committee in 2013, and that he is starting the year with about $923,000 in cash on hand.

“We told people what we were thinking about doing, and asked them if they thought it was a good idea, and if they could be supporting of it, and we were overwhelmed by the response,” said Ducey.

When asked if he was definitely running for governor, Ducey said, “I’ve got an exploratory campaign right now, so we’ve made no announcement yet. But it’s definitely something we’re considering.”

Ducey wouldn’t answer for certain if he’s already out in public campaigning.

“When you’re out doing talking about what you may do, you can call that what you want. We’ve called an exploratory committee, and our supporters have been responsive to it, and, for that, we’re encouraged.”

Ducey said it could be 30 to 60 days before an official announcement is made. He also said that this may be the right time to run.

“We think there’s a great way to effect change inside the state,” he said. “This is the going to be the first open seat for governor in the last 12 years, so we’re excited about what 2014 can bring.”

Meanwhile, KTAR put in a request for an interview with Mesa Mayor Scott Smith about whether he is running for governor, and his office said he was unavailable for comment.

In late December, Smith said he would use the holidays to talk his future plans over with his family, and that he would make an announcement “sometime after the first of the year.”