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Why Gov. Ducey is being credited for helping Republicans win Virginia governors race

Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 23:16:56-04

PHOENIX — You may have heard or read that Virginia has elected a new governor — Glenn Youngkin, the first Republican elected to that position in 12 years.

What you may not have heard is that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is receiving some of the credit for the Republican win, especially ahead of the midterm elections in 2022.

Three years ago when Gov. Ducey was elected to a second term, no one thought back then that the road would travel through Virginia.

“Ducey had a good night because the RGA (Republican Governors Association) won Virginia and almost New Jersey. That alone is incredible,” said Stan Barnes, a Republican political consultant.

As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Ducey received his share of credit on social media for the Republican win in Virginia, including one from conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

Gov. Ducey helped raise $14 million for Youngkin's campaign through the Republican Governor's Association.

He is also being credited with offering a road map to victory.

“We’re going to have a record fundraising year for the RGA this cycle. A lot of that is due to Governor Ducey’s efforts and then encouraging us to continue to focus on the issues that matter to voters,” said RGA Executive Director Dave Rexride.

In Virginia, that meant a campaign focused on quality of life, public safety, and the price of gasoline and not on former president Donald Trump.

As Arizona prepares to elect its next governor after Gov. Ducey reached his term limit, Stan Barnes said focusing on the issues is something all candidates in the race should remember.

“I’m thinking the candidates in Arizona this morning are looking at the victory by the Republicans in Virginia and what I hope they’re getting is his message was more broad than simply Trump was done wrong,” he said.

Until Trump, issues over personalities were usually a good bet with Arizona voters. After Virginia, we may start to see a return to those days on the campaign trail.

“Every political consultant worth his salt is trying to scrub a new game plan," Barnes said.