JIM SHARPE

Could coronavirus kill Gov. Doug Ducey’s 2024 campaign?

Jul 1, 2020, 4:00 PM
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)...
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)
(Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

After Gov. Doug Ducey did what Democrats demanded — and allowed local governments to force face masks on residents — I warned that the Dems who continued complaining might be doing so for political purposes.

However, before mask mandates had a chance to work, we still saw tons of people crowding nightclubs (and not wearing masks), so I gave Democrats keeping up the complaints some leeway.

But before the ink was dry on Ducey’s latest executive order that closed those nightclubs and health clubs (and other stuff), Arizona Democrats pounced.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema posted on Twitter about what she called the “damning chronicle of Doug Ducey’s inaction and repeated delayed reaction to the greatest health crisis of our lives” and said that “Arizona will continue to teeter on the edge of crisis and emergency until the state takes real action.“

Yesterday, when I said the governor just can’t win, I meant that in the sense that he can’t make everyone happy — but maybe I should have also said that because there’s a growing possibility he can’t win… a future political race.

Ducey’s been a business-friendly governor who’s helped transition Arizona from a boom-and-bust-dependent-almost-solely-on-growth-kind-of economy into a much more stable, tech-based economy – which doesn’t just benefit business — it benefits all Arizonans.

But now that he’s shut down parts of our economy again, he’s losing the support of a lot of Republicans – and the most important kind of Republicans he’ll need for funding a future campaign: business leaders and business-owning Republicans.

So the Dems are down on Ducey and, now, he’s facing Republican rejection.

And that brings me to why I think Sen. Sinema‘s criticism – while partly genuine — is primarily politics. It is an attempt to ensure Ducey can’t win – an election against her.

There’s more than a little conjecture that when Doug’s done being governor, he’ll run for the Senate seat currently occupied by (yup!) Kyrsten Sinema.

So if Sinema can use social media to enshrine a perception of an indecisive “Do Nothing Ducey” and Republicans don’t forget, that in their assessment of his COVID precautions, he was an overly decisive “Do Too Much Ducey,” he might find himself hobbling toward that Senate seat in 2024 – rather than running for it.

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Could coronavirus kill Gov. Doug Ducey’s 2024 campaign?