By Stacey Barchenger Arizona Republic
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has chosen a favored candidate in the Republican primary to replace him, endorsing developer Karrin Taylor Robson in a move that could carry significant sway among deep-pocketed donors and Trump-averse voters in the state.
In a statement released Thursday by Taylor Robson’s campaign, Ducey said he had no question that Taylor Robson was the “proven conservative ready to lead on day one.”
“She’s a native Arizonan and lifelong Republican who got her start working for President Reagan,” Ducey said in the prepared statement. “Conservatives can trust Karrin. She raised a family here, and started a small business that has helped create thousands of Arizona jobs. Karrin is the real deal: pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-wall — and she’ll stand up to Joe Biden and the radical left.”
The sitting governor’s endorsement in the four-way GOP primary sets up a Ducey-Trump proxy battle and will add national attention on Arizona as the latest test of former President Donald Trump’s grip on his party.
The former president has endorsed former TV news anchor Kari Lake in the gubernatorial race and has frequently lambasted Ducey for certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 election win. Ducey has largely tried to move his party past false claims of fraud while Trump has made supporting that fantasy a litmus test for his approval.
The two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for Arizona governor embody the separate factions in the ongoing GOP civil war between the more traditional establishment and Make America Great Again loyalists.
Taylor Robson said she was humbled by Ducey’s endorsement.