Arizona gubernatorial race candidates discuss business, economic issues at forum

Oct 1, 2021, 4:45 AM
A forum with the 2022 gubernatorial candidates to discuss business and economic issues in the state...
A forum with the 2022 gubernatorial candidates to discuss business and economic issues in the state. (KTAR News photo/Taylor Tasler-Oatley)
(KTAR News photo/Taylor Tasler-Oatley)

PHOENIX — The 2022 race for Arizona governor is already heating up as candidates squared off to discuss business and economic issues currently facing the state at a forum held Thursday.

The candidates were asked multiple questions, including how they’ll continue the momentum of job growth.

Republican candidate Matt Salmon focused on specific growth in the economy.

“Instead of growth just for growth sake, we’ve got to target areas like advance manufacturing,” he said.

Salmon also believes the state needs to focus on international trade and be “a real international trade hub.”

Democratic front-runner, and current Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs shifted the focus to the need to cut red tape for small businesses.

“During my time as Secretary of State, my office has made it a priority to streamline our business services,” she said.

Hobbs added she wants to see the state become a contender when it comes to green energy.

“We have hotter and dryer summers, prolonged drought, increasing wildfires and we need to acknowledge that climate change has an impact on every aspect of our lives and economy,” Hobbs said.

Business isn’t the only topic the candidates touched on.

They were asked how to make sure Arizona has qualified individuals to fill jobs, with Hobbs pointing to investing in early education.

“We need universal Pre-K to ensure that our students are getting the start they need to be successful throughout their school careers,” Hobbs said.

She added the state can have more quality education if “we invest more in attracting and obtaining qualified teachers.”

Salmon expressed a similar goal, calling for more competition in the education system.

“Our schools have to do a far better job teaching kids how to critically think and we need to be more in line with business so they come out of school ready to compete,” he said.

Republican front runner Kari Lake was not in attendance, with her campaign citing a scheduling conflict.

Candidates Kimberly Yee, Steve Gaynor, Karrin Taylor Robson, Aaron Lieberman and Marco Lopez were also in attendance.

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Arizona gubernatorial race candidates discuss business, economic issues at forum