Daniel Ruiz PHOTO BY BEN GILES/ARIZONA CAPITOL TIMES
By Dillon Rosenblatt September 17, 2021
They may share the first name, but around the halls of the Executive Tower’s Ninth Floor, they are known respectively as “Scarp” and “Ruiz.”
For the past six or so years the two Daniels – Scarpinato and Ruiz – have worked closely together turning a relationship of colleagues into one of good friends as they weathered the flak that comes from tough decision-making.
Daniel Scarpinato just passed over the reins of Gov. Doug Ducey’s chief of staff to Daniel Ruiz in August and departed his state government job for the final time on August 27.
Scarpinato began in Ducey’s office as his top spokesman. The former Arizona Daily Star and Yellow Sheet Report journalist became Ducey’s point of contact for his former reporter colleagues. Any questions directed to Ducey would almost always go through Scarpinato, beginning in early 2015 when Ducey took his oath of office.
Ruiz joined staff later that year assisting the communications team, with a focus on state agencies’ communications strategies and as a de facto boss for agency spokespeople.
Scarpinato briefly left the Governor’s Office in 2018 to help Ducey’s re-election and Ruiz took over. Ducey won in a landslide over Democrat David Garcia and both Daniels were due for promotions as some top staffers did not stay for a second gubernatorial term.
Ruiz became a top adviser for a year before Ducey made him the state’s chief operations officer and Scarpinato as Ducey’s right hand man, replacing former House Speaker Kirk Adams.