Originally published in The Arizona Republic, January 4, 2015
Over the course of the past year, I've had the privilege of traveling all across this great state and making the case to the people of Arizona that they hire me as our next governor.
On Monday, I have the honor of taking the oath of office and getting to work on your behalf. I want you to know I am truly grateful for the trust you have placed in me. And I feel prepared for the job at hand in large part because of the spirited campaign that led us here, my tenure as your state treasurer and my decades in the private sector.
As I campaigned, I met thousands of you, in every corner of our state and found that despite our differences — across party and regional lines — there's a lot Arizonans agree on.
I learned the issues that concern you are numerous and diverse — the economy, jobs, education, border security. The solutions aren't easy, but there is a recognition that tough decisions need to be made and we can succeed by working together.
Arizonans want us to come together, put aside politics and solve problems. You want us to do our jobs in way that reflects the best of our state. You want us to stop and listen — something that doesn't always come naturally to people in politics.
I enter this job having spent most of my life and career outside of politics, building a business and raising a family.
So when I look at what's happening in Washington, D.C., I can't help but believe our country deserves better. Politics seems increasingly disconnected from the needs of our citizens. Often, it's more about posturing and power than serving the people.
Well, it's time we aim higher. One state can't set everything right, but here in Arizona, we can set an example for the rest of the country in how those of us in elected office conduct ourselves and interact with each other and our constituents.
Civility, decency, respect — those are the values Arizonans demand of us. I honestly believe that we are Arizonans and Americans first, not merely advocates for our respective political parties.
I hope you'll find that my campaign was a reflection of how I plan to govern — bringing people together, building coalitions and finding common ground.
I've said I want to be governor for all — and I mean it. Whether you voted for me or not, I believe I have an obligation to represent the entire state and listen to all Arizonans.
In every way I know, I plan to work as governor to make Arizona a more just, compassionate and welcoming place. My plan is to focus on people, policies and outcomes that result in a better quality of life — more jobs and better opportunities for all Arizonans, today and for generations to come.
As governor, I'll focus on the issues I ran and was elected on — growing our economy and improving outcomes in K-12 education. Those aren't Republican issues or Democratic issues — and neither are the solutions.
In that spirit, since the election, my team and I have worked hard to reach out to political, community and business leaders in all corners of the state.
I've met with and talked to legislative leaders in both parties and made clear to them that I want us to work together in a spirit of goodwill to solve the many challenges confronting our state.
I've engaged a broad coalition in our transition committee, led by former Sen. Jon Kyl, to ensure as many Arizonans have a seat at the table as possible.
I've talked to mayors — from Phoenix to Tucson, and Yuma to Flagstaff — about ways we can grow the economy and create more jobs.
I've sat down with other governors, especially our fellow border state governors, to discuss areas of collaboration and ways to strengthen our entire region.
And most importantly, I've continued to hear from many of you during this time about the priorities you want for our state.
The theme we've chosen for the inauguration is a reflection of what I've heard from all of you — "Arizona: A Future of Opportunity."
Our state faces many challenges in the immediate future. We have to balance our budget and close a significant fiscal shortfall. We have to ensure that all Arizona students have access to an excellent education. And we need do more to grow our economy and ensure our state is providing opportunity for all.
Solving those problems won't be easy. There will be disagreements along the way.
But in hearing from you — the people of Arizona — it's clear that our future is a bright one if we come together and focus on the areas where we can agree as we forge resolutions.
Arizonans want us focused on the future. They want us to work together toward shared values. And I believe that is best achieved by listening to you, which I won't stop doing after the inauguration.
I look forward to this tremendous opportunity, am humbled by your trust and pledge to do all I can do to be worthy of your confidence.
Doug Ducey is the governor-elect of Arizona.