2 top aides for Gov. Doug Ducey leaving for new jobs, replacement announced

Aug 5, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: Aug 12, 2021, 9:55 am
Left: Daniel Scarpinato, Right: Gretchen Conger (Courtesy photos/Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's office)...
Left: Daniel Scarpinato, Right: Gretchen Conger (Courtesy photos/Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's office)
(Courtesy photos/Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's office)

PHOENIX — Two top aides for Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey are leaving for new jobs, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

Chief of Staff Daniel Scarpinato was named as a partner at Ascent Media, a national full-service advertising and political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colorado, while Deputy Chief of Staff Gretchen Conger will now serve as senior advisor to the Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaign for governor in Arkansas.

Ducey announced Daniel Ruiz, the state’s chief operating officer, will take over for Scarpinato as the governor’s top aide and lead his staff as well as coordinate Ducey’s agenda.

Ruiz will work alongside the current chief of staff until Scarpinato transitions out of the role by the end of August.

Scarpinato has been with Ducey for most of his term as the state’s top political official, joining the governor’s transition team just days after the 2014 election when Ducey beat Democratic challenger Fred DuVal to take over for the term-limited Jan Brewer.

“Daniel has been a trusted and important part of my team since the beginning,” Ducey said in a press release. “His leadership of our team through challenge after challenge has been critical to our success.

“I am beyond thankful for his dedication and service from our 2014 transition to my re-election, through COVID and the completion of our most successful legislative session to date. While Daniel is moving on, he will remain a close friend and advisor to our team.”

(UPDATE: On Aug. 12, Ducey appointed Sarah Rose Pirzada to fill the chief operating officer position.)

Conger advised Ducey in his 2014 campaign and joined the administration in 2015. She served as director of legislative affairs before being elevated to deputy chief of staff in 2016.

Ruiz has been a member of the governor’s team since 2015 and before serving as the state’s chief operating officer was Ducey’s director of media affairs until 2018, overseeing internal and external communications at all state agencies and managing all the state’s public information officers.

“Daniel Ruiz’s leadership has been key to our success since almost the very beginning of my administration,” Ducey said in a press release.

“Daniel has been involved in nearly every issue we have tackled. Whether it’s operations, strategy, policy, messaging or crisis management, Daniel has been a rock our team has relied on to guide us through challenges and opportunities. Daniel is a public servant who brings people together, solves problems and dedicates himself to the work at hand. I am thrilled to name him Chief of Staff.”

Ducey is finishing up his final term as the state’s governor after being re-elected in 2018 and can’t run for re-election in 2022 due to term limits.

Arizona News

(Courtesy photo/Arizona State Lottery)...
Torrence Dunham

2 Mega Millions tickets worth $10K sold in Arizona as jackpot climbs

Two lucky people in Arizona are $10,000 richer after purchasing winning Mega Millions tickets in Friday's drawing, but the grand prize is still up for grabs and growing.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
1 day ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Husky who recovered from serious burns up for adoption in Scottsdale

A husky who has recovered from serious burns after being found as an underweight stray is ready to be taken home from a Scottsdale adoption center.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...

Motorcyclist dies after 2-vehicle collision on Baseline Road in Phoenix

A motorcyclist who was rushed to the hospital after a two-vehicle wreck Monday morning in Phoenix has died, authorities said.
1 day ago
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates speaks during a May 17 press conference with other county off...
Danny Shapiro

Maricopa County audit deal with Senate a ‘business decision,’ supervisor says

The deal Maricopa County worked out with the Arizona Senate over router access related to the audit of the 2020 election was a "business decision," according to one supervisor.
1 day ago
Daniel Robinson was last seen in a remote area of Buckeye, Arizona, on June 23, 2021. His SUV was f...
Kevin Stone

Crews searching desert area for Phoenix man find somebody else’s skull

A human skull uncovered during the search for Daniel Robinson in a remote West Valley area is not of the missing Phoenix man, authorities said.
1 day ago
2 top aides for Gov. Doug Ducey leaving for new jobs, replacement announced