PHOENIX - Local and national Border Patrol unions are officially endorsing Republican Doug Ducey in his bid for a second term as Arizona's governor.
The unions representing U.S. Border Patrol guards nationally and locally announced their endorsement Monday at the state Capitol.
Ducey has stressed a commitment to border security; launching a law enforcement initiative called Arizona's Border Strike Force, which aims to stop the flow of drugs and illegal immigration into the United States.
His Democratic rival David Garcia has promised to pull back the National Guard troops Ducey sent to the border at President Donald Trump's request.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, says Ducey supports "protecting the citizens of Arizona and America."
Today's announcement also came with a provocative accusation by Art Del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol Council Local 2544. Speaking to the Latino community, Del Cueto suggested Garcia was exploiting his race for political gain and warned them to not vote for Garcia just because he has a familiar last name.
"It's upsetting we have certain candidates that run for office, and they expect the vote based solely on the race," said Del Cueto. "You need to vote on people who are going to do right by you and right by your state."
Garcia called the comments "bigoted".
Garcia, an ASU professor, and Army veteran said he's already proven he has the state and country's best interests at heart because he was in the military.
"When Arizonans look at who is going to secure Arizona, take a look at who already served to do that. They're going to find out that candidate is me," Garcia said.