PHOENIX — Facing re-election next year, Gov. Doug Ducey won’t say whether he wants the help of the nation’s chief executive.
“These political seasons are way too long,” the Republican governor said when asked if he wants President Trump to come to Arizona to campaign with him. “We’re going to be focusing on our day job and the holidays.”
The New York Times reports the question of the president’s role in the 2018 election was a topic of discussion at the meeting of the Republican Governors Association earlier this month in Austin, Texas.
Ducey did not attend. But some who were there were concerned about negative feelings about Trump spilling over into their own races.
For example, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told a Times reporter that it was “pretty safe” he would work to keep the president out of his state.
By contrast, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Republicans should “absolutely” campaign with the president.
And Florida Gov. Rick Scott would not answer questions at a news conference about whether he believes Trump would help Republicans in the midterm election.
Ducey, asked about his own views, fell into the same category.
“We’re going to be informing the voters of Arizona of what we’ve done,” the governor said, saying campaign decisions will be made “at the proper time.” And this, he said, is not that time, given that it’s still 2017.
“I think people, quite frankly, are sick of politics,” Ducey said, saying he read something in the newspaper that people didn’t want to talk politics at Thanksgiving dinner. “And neither do I.”
The governor has been raising money since September 2016 for next year’s race.
At this point the two top Democratic contenders are state Sen. Steve Farley of Tucson and Arizona State University professor David Garcia.
Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by about 162,000. But it could be the non-affiliated voters who hold sway, as they comprise 34 percent of the nearly 3.7 million registered to vote.