Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill is calling on the business community to throw its support behind Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey.
In an e-mail sent by Bidwill to business leaders Monday afternoon, Bidwill invites them to join him, attorney Michael Kennedy, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Glenn Hamer and Greater Phoenix Leadership Chairman John Graham to a Thursday roundtable discussion to learn about Ducey’s campaign.
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The football executive notes the six-way GOP primary race appears to be a two-person race between Ducey and former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones. However, multiple polls show at least one-third of Republican primary voters have not yet decided who they will vote for.
Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Ducey, Jones, former California Congressman Frank Riggs, Smith and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas are vying for their party’s nomination. The winner will face Democrat Fred DuVal in the general election.
Bidwill notes Ducey’s tenure as state treasurer and his work with civic, business and charitable organizations.
“Understandably, a sizable group of the business community has supported (former) Mayor Scott Smith,” Bidwill wrote. “On a personal note, while I was the chairman of GPEC (Greater Phoenix Economic Council), Scott was one of our best and most helpful mayors.”
But, Bidwill noted that in its recent Arizona Republic endorsement of Ducey, the editorial board said Smith’s campaign started too late to be successful.
“Fortunately the business community has two excellent candidates,” he continued. “But only one can win the primary. Given the political reality, it is time for the business community to come together and get behind Doug.
“The Arizona business community has to have a unified strategy that recognizes voter sentiment and likely turnout in 2014,” Bidwill continued. “We need to get behind the candidate best positioned to win who will work with us to make a better business environment in Arizona.”
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry has not supported a candidate for governor.
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