Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

July 21, 2014


Host: Ted Simons

Vote 2014: Gubernatorial Republicans’ Debate


  • Join us as the six Republican candidates running to be Arizona’s next governor debate issues important to the state.
Category: Vote 2014   |   Keywords: vote2014, republican, candidates, governor, debate, issues, arizona,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to this special “Vote 2014” edition of Arizona Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. Tonight's show is a debate, sponsored by Clean Elections. We'll hear from candidates competing in the Republican primary for governor. As with all of Arizona Horizon’s debates, this is not a formal exercise. It's an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity for give and take between candidates for the state's most important office. As such, interjections, even interruptions, are allowed provided all sides get a fair shake and we'll do our best to make sure that happens.

Six Republican candidates are competing to be Arizona's chief executive. They are Secretary of State Ken Bennett; State Treasurer, Doug Ducey; former business executive, Christine Jones; former California congressman, Frank Riggs; former Mesa mayor Scott Smith; and former Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas. Each candidate will have one minute for opening and closing statements. Earlier we drew numbers to see who goes first and that honor goes to Scott Smith.

Scott Smith: Thank you, Ted, and thank you for this great opportunity to be before you today. You know, tonight you’re going to have the unique opportunity to hear from six individuals who want to be the CEO of Arizona. The one who will lead the state literally for the next generation by the decisions he or she makes in the next one to three years. After years 30 of experience in business and education, and owning a business as a CPA and selling that business and entering into politics with my first elected office as mayor of Mesa. I've handled a lot of crises. As a matter of fact, in government I'm the only one here who has led in a moment of crisis, taking over as mayor of Mesa as we began the deepest recession ever. So as we go through this evening, you have a unique opportunity to see who can actually not only present a plan, but who can live up to that plan, to the promises they make. I can tell you that through my years of experience as both from an educational background and business and in government, I have not only said what I can do, I've done it. Former mayor Scott Smith; I'm proud to be here.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. For the next opening statement, we turn to Doug Ducey.

Doug Ducey: Thank you, Ted. It's great to be here tonight. I'm happy to let you know tonight that I have been endorsed by Arizona Right to Life, by senator Jon Kyle, by former –- by current governor Scott walker of Wisconsin, and by state senator Al Melvin. Al Melvin was in this race with all of us, and he recently stepped out and he endorsed our campaign because he said Doug Ducey was the most electable conservative in the race. And I'm running on my real world record. I've been married 24 years to my college sweetheart Angela, we have three young sons, I built a company, Cold Stone Creamery. We built Cold Stone to 1,440 stores in all 50 states. We sold Cold Stone in 2007, and I became your State Treasurer. I've been managing $12.5 billion of state assets for the last nearly four years. I've stopped a $1 billion permanent sales tax increase in prop 204, and most importantly I want to kick-start our economy, secure our border, and put a real fix on our education system. My name is Doug Ducey, and I look forward to visiting with you tonight.

Ted Simons: Alight. Thank you very much. Now let's turn to Frank Riggs.

Frank Riggs: Good afternoon, Ted, and ladies and gentlemen. I'm Frank Riggs, homeowner and resident of Scottsdale with my wife of 34 years, Cathy, native daughter born in Tucson. I'm a proud Army veteran, the only military veteran running for governor. I'm also former police officer and deputy sheriff. I've pinned on the badge; I’ve put myself in harm's way to protect the public safety. I'm a successful small businessman, former school board president, founding CEO of the largest nonprofit in Arizona and in this country, dedicated to helping charter schools with their facility financing and development needs. And I'm a former three-term United States congressman, who served with distinction in that institution, helped to reform it, helped to pass the balanced budget, helped on reform welfare by imposing time limits and work requirements on able-bodied welfare recipients, compiled a consistently conservative voting record that earned me the highest ratings and the endorsements of National Right to life and the NRA. And I look forward to talking to you tonight about my vision for Arizona and how we're going to end the Obaminization of Arizona.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. Up next with his opening statement is Andrew Thomas.

Andrew Thomas: Thank you and good evening. There is in this election season one issue that DWARFS all the others. If we do not secure our border and stop illegal immigration, all of our talk about other issues, health care, jobs, the economy, education, all of these issues, all of those matters become meaningless. Because we will go broke, we are losing our sovereignty, and we are losing our way of life. There is a difference in this election. What I enforce the law as Maricopa County attorney, illegal immigrants fled this state. We had unprecedented success at the state and local level in stopping illegal immigration, and we can have that again if we're willing to elect somebody who has the toughness to take on the entire political, legal, and media establishment for years to accomplish this. That is what is required. That is what I am prepared to do. I am running for governor of this state, so we can secure our border once and for all, defend our way of life and have a bright future for this state and for this nation. And I look forward to the debate tonight. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. Our next opening statement, Christine Jones.

Christine Jones: Thanks so much, Ted. I'm Christine Jones, I'm a Republican candidate for governor, but I wasn't always a candidate for governor. Not so long ago I was just a regular ordinary citizen, but now having traveled about 40,000 miles all over the state of Arizona to all 15 counties, having met so many incredible, caring, thoughtful, amazing people in this state, I've confirmed what I suspected all along, which is that the people of Arizona are ready for this nonestablishment, outside, conservative messages. And we've talked about excellence in education and the enforcement of immigration law, and economic development. But clearly the single issue that is defining this race at the moment is border security. And as we've traveled around it's been the number one issue for many months. And I look forward to talking about that more tonight, Ted. Mostly I look forward to really focusing on issues for what they are. Statewide challenges that require cooperation and leadership to solve. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you. Alright, and our final opening statement goes to Ken Bennett.

Ken Bennett: Thank you, Ted. Good evening, I'm Ken Bennett. I've been in Arizona all my life. I was born in Tucson and raised in Prescott. I met my wife Jean at ASU; we've been married 32 years. We have three grown children and two little grandchildren. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the private sector. I ran a family business in the Prescott area for almost 23 years, and for the past six years have been on the board of directors for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Hospital in Goodyear. During that same 30 years though, I also have offered myself for public service. I started on the Prescott city council many years ago, later on the state board of education, and then eight years in the legislature and four years as president of the state senate. We're going to be talking tonight about our economy, about education, and has been mentioned by several, about our safety. And I'm proud to have been endorsed in our campaign by four state law enforcement associations: the correctional officers that work in our prisons, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs, and the Arizona Highway Patrolmens’ Association. I look forward to visiting with you tonight. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. Candidates, let's get it started. This is the Republican primary for governor here, Tea Party a major factor in Republican politics. Scott, do you support the Tea Party, is the Tea Party good for Arizona?

Scott Smith: I think any time you have vigorous debate it's good for Arizona; it's good for the nation. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to friends who are in the Tea Party. From a principle standpoint, I would say everyone on this panel believes with the principles the Tea Party espouses. I think passion is good in politics. And so, I think on either side you have to have people willing to stand up for what they believe. It doesn't mean you have to always agree with them on everything, but I think any time have you passionate debate it's good for Arizona, good for America.

Frank Rigs: When I served the United States’ Congress we had a great saying. It was, “Don't listen to what they say; look at how they actually vote.” And it was my voting record that earned me the highest honors from Citizens Against Government Waste, Watchdogs of the Treasury, and like I said, when I left Congress to keep my term limits commitment in 1998, the federal budget was balanced and generated surpluses for four consecutive years thereafter. So I was Tea Party before it was cool, and I'm with the Tea Party not the cocktail party, and I've got a record that shows it.

Ted Simons: Doug, Tea Party good for Arizona, good for Republican politics? Good for everyone?

Doug Ducey: I came into public service in 2010, the year of the Tea Party. And it meant ‘taxed enough already.’ And I thought that was a good idea. The Tea Party in 2010 was talking about tightening the belt of the state and having our budget under control. It was talking about reducing taxes, and taking care of the people that are out there in the working world. I'm proud to have the support of Mark Meckler, the founder of Tea Party Patriots, and Senator Al Melvin was the self-anointed Tea Party candidate in this race. I think the Tea Party kept the Republican party together and I think if the Republican party will lead as true fiscal conservatives and make sure they're making ideas that make government smaller and more limited we'll be able to have more successful campaigns in the future.

Ted Simons: Christine, some though say the Tea Party is a reason that there is a civil war going on in the Republican Party. Again, we're addressing Republican voters here. Is the Tea Party good for politics?

Christine Jones: Well, any time you have a conversation that talks about conservatism, whether it's fiscally or otherwise, it's good healthy conversation. I do think it's dangerous for us to drive wedges between conservatives and pave the way for liberals. So in as much as we have four buckets in the Republican party we have the moderates, the conservatives, the Tea Party and the libertarians, if you think of it that way, I think we ought to focus on the things that we have in common. You could probably say there are 80 or 90% of the things about which we agree. We ought to live over those 80 or 90% of the things and not die over the 10%. Because it is an absolute certainty the Democrats would love to take control of the state. So the Tea Party and the traditional Republicans, and however else you self-define ought to come together on August 27th and make sure we elect a Republican.

Ted Simons: Good for Arizona, Andrew?

Andrew Thomas: I think you deserve a direct answer to a direct question. I think the Tea Party has been a good movement and I -- It's unfortunate we're not getting direct answers to that question. I think it's a fair one. And I will tell you I'm proud of the fact that many of the people, the grass-roots conservatives who have risen up to help my campaign and are helping me throughout the state are members of the Tea Party. And let's be clear, the liberal media attacked the Tea Party for the same reason they attack any real conservative. They don't like the principles that they stand for, and they see they're effective. And we need to stand up for conservatives who are under attack, including the Tea Party, including other groups who have tried to do something important on behalf of conservative principles. And that is not divide and conquer, we need a real conservative as governor and we should accept nothing less.

Ted Simons: Is the Tea Party dividing the Republican party?

Ken Bennett: No, I think the Tea Party is a productive part of the party because it reminds us we need to think back to the principles they're trying to remind us of, which is living within our means. I think a lot of their focus has been at the national level, and we've all watched the national debt balloon to over $17 trillion. But we also have over $8 billion of debt as a state of Arizona, even though our constitution says we should be limited to $350,000. We need to live within our means. The last time the state budget was balanced without accounting tricks and gimmicks or temporary tax increases was in 2006 and 2007. Jim Weiers was the Speaker of the House, and I was president of the senate, and we made sure we lived within our means, and had $1.1 billion in the rainy day fund. That's what I think the Tea Party is wanting us to -- Want to remind all levels of government. Live within your means and save for a rainy day.

Ted Simons: Okay, with that in mind, you mentioned the economy. Arizona, Scott, lags the U.S. in job recovery. Why is that? How do you change that?

Scott Smith: It not only lags in job recovery, we've only recovered half of the jobs we lost during the recession. California has recovered all of the jobs they lost and that's the -- Might be called the worst business tax and regulatory environment in the country. But the other problem is we're not only recovering jobs at a slower rate, but the quality of jobs we're recovering are basically minimum wage jobs. They're not the high quality jobs. We lost high quality jobs; we're not recovering those. You change that by changing the conversation, becoming more focused as a state as to what we want to work on. As mayor, we did this in Mesa. We decided exactly the industries and areas that we were good at. We had a heat initiative, health care, education, aerospace, tourism, technology, and then we worked to not only partner with the private sector, government and business, allowing and inviting investment in, and that's how you create high quality jobs for long-term. And the other thing is we cannot avoid the impact that education and what people perceive our education system as being as a negative drag on our economic growth.

Ted Simons: How do you change, Doug? How do you change this economic environment? the rest of the country seems to be moving right along, why aren't we keeping pace?

Doug Ducey: It's time to kick-start Arizona's economy. I built a brand that is known and loved around the country, and now the world. Let's look at other states that do things better than Arizona. Let's improve and simplify our tax code. I'll sign a moratorium on new regulation on day one in office, and I'll have Texas-style tort reform that will lower liability on the small businessman and the taxpayer. In addition, I'll be the best salesperson for the state of Arizona. We don't have to talk companies into leaving California, they're leaving by the hundreds. Ted, we're already Chicago's favorite suburb. We need to take the natural attributes of our state and present them out to the other 49 states and have our economy boom again.

Ted Simons: What do you think, Frank? As far as getting jobs back, you're from California, you know what's going on over there. How do you make it happen over here?

Frank Riggs: Listen, by the way, I was a United States congressman. So I represented 600,000 constituents, but all Americans by extension. And I'm proud of my record in Congress. But I'm also equally proud now to be an Arizonan. What's really been lacking is business investment. What I would like to do, what I will propose and work with the state legislature to adopt is an incentive that would allow all businesses, regardless of size, big or small, 95% of Arizona businesses are small or very small businesses, but to fully write off all investment expenses in the year those investments were made or carry them forward until they're fully offset against the state income tax liability as opposed to long-term amortization or depreciation schedule.

Ted Simons: How do you pay for something like that, how do you keep education funded with something like that --

Frank Rigs: It absolutely pays for itself. It will stimulate investment and job creation. We have to incentivize the private sector, but we have to do that without handing out favors or tax credits. I've been the skunk at the garden party in these forums. At the technology council, I said I don't approve of the Angel Tax Credit, the R&D Tax Credit, creating a state-run venture capital fund to compete with the private sector. Let me just finish, Ted. And last week, at the tourism conference, the same thing with respect to the motion picture industry tax credit, because one business's tax credit is another industry's corporate welfare. We need fundamental reform of the tax code, simplified and get rid of all the special interest loopholes, which just constitute corporate welfare.

Scott Smith: But Frank, wait a second. I mean, I agree with it, because investment tax credit, which was brought in by John Kinney, created a huge investment. Section 179 in our federal tax code accomplishes what you've had, but it still talks about the investment of capital. The service industry doesn't get that. So even what you're saying does choose one type of business. And I'm not opposed to that because I think we ought to spur capital investment.

Frank Rigg: A service -- excuse me Scott for interrupting –- but a service related business would still be able to fully expense their investment expenditures.

Scott Smith: But their capital expenditures are very minor. So, I think we have to look at a combination of things in order to spur the investment. Angel credit, those things are broad-based because they talk to a specific activity and those are the activities we need to encourage.

Ted Simons: Andy, what do you think about this?

Andrew Thomas: A variety of things are in need. We need to have tax on regulatory policy that makes sense and that compares well to other states, so we're competing against for jobs and economic growth. We need to make sure that we have border policies, frankly, that are focused on securing the border once and for all. That is the issue; I keep talking about it because it dwarfs all other issues. We have to have safety in this state. This has to be a place where people can retire and invest, live, and not have to worry about the state being a super highway of immigration –- illegal immigration and drug and human trafficking to the nation. This is something that is a drag on us economically, and it also $2.7 billion a year in costs for Arizona taxpayers, that is something we're having to pay. We could reduce taxes and we ultimately will if we secure the border and if I get in there and we accomplish that.

Ted Simons: We’re seeing public-private partnerships, these sorts of things. Arizona commerce authority, is that a good idea? Some say you're playing favorites, some say you shouldn't be playing favorites. What do you think?

Christine Jones: Well, I think any time you want to make money you have to spend money. And this is one of the reasons it's important once in a while to have a business person come and run the state. I'm not even convinced you have to have that every time, but once in a while you have to say we're going to look at both sides of the income statement. There's a revenue side as well as an expense side. And to say, what would it take to raise revenue without raising taxes? If you see my economic development plan, very well defined in there. Part of the issue is we should be incentivizing so that we level the playing field. First you have to streamline the tax code and get the government out of the way of the little businesses so they can create jobs. But to the companies that are small that will become big, to say -- say we were to incentivize. Let's incentivize on something that levels the playing field like net new revenue, so that if you're in the state, you get the incentive. If you're out of the state you get the incentive. We don't pick winners and losers; we just say we're going to have to spend money to make money. If you have two deals, you could spend zero today, and get zero in 10 years, or you can spend today and get 100 in years, which deal would you take? The second deal all day long, of course.

Ted Simons: Does that math add up to you? How do you -- You've been around, we've had tax cuts after tax cut after tax cut. Why are we lagging in job recovery?

Ken Bennett: Well, I think economic development comes down to four things. One is money. The cost of doing business in Arizona in one way or another, we've all referred to the tax policies in our state that make us attractive or not so attractive compared to other states. Two is talent. Is our education system, both K-12 and the higher education levels producing the kinds of men and women that can make companies already here and wanting to stay here or ones looking to come in successful? The third is time, the regulations -- Doug says we'll sign the thing on the first day to have a moratorium on any new regulations. Well, Governor Brewer did that five years ago, and it's still in place. We already have --

Doug Ducey: It expires before the next election. I'll put it back in place.

Ken Bennett: We have a moratorium on any new regulations, and that should be continued. But that would not be any different than what we have already. And the fourth is the image of our state. That's where you get into issues, are we safe and all the other issues that are important for a company either wanting to feel like they can stay here, or wanting to come in.

Andrew Thomas: Just to add something really quick. Again, we can't lose sight of the obvious. The Center for Immigration Studies came out a couple weeks ago with an analysis that showed that all new jobs created since 2000, that’s three presidential administrations, all of them have been taken by immigrants, legal and illegal. So when we talk about a jobless recovery, when we talk about chronically high unemployment rates, particularly along the border, start with the obvious. These jobs are being taken by people who we are -- who are coming into our country legally or illegally and that is the elephant in the room.

Ted Simons: Are these jobs -- Hold on a second, please. Are these jobs being taken?

Andrew Thomas: Absolutely --

-- because I'm hearing from contractors. I’m hearing from people in the construction -- They can't find people to take these positions.

Andrew Thomas: If you pay them properly, they will work. It's basic economics. The idea that they – that American citizen will not take these jobs -- I have met these citizens on the campaign trail. I’ve been in their homes. These are people -- these may not have the highest level education or income, but these are real citizen who are having trouble getting jobs, and a lot of these jobs have been taken. That is just a statistical fact.

Frank Riggs: You said all jobs. And that is the kind of absurd assertion that distorts the debate. You got to be honest with voters. You cannot speak down to them. You have to speak up. You can't demean their intelligence. That is an absolutely absurd assertion. The fact of the matter is that we're experiencing an influx of illegal immigration as a direct result of the amnesty policies, lax border security and lenient deportation procedures of the Obama administration. That's the reason. The governor has a duty, a responsibility to help secure the border. But that has to be a combined federal, state, and local response --

Andrew Thomas: If I may respond --

Frank Riggs: And to constantly blame illegal immigrants for every challenge we have as a state is absolutely irresponsible.

Andrew Thomas: Excuse me. I just -- I have to respond because this is insulting. I have cited a reputable source that came out with a study a few weeks ago, the Center for Immigration Studies, which stated this. it was widely published, widely talked about. Now, you can disagree with their analysis, but they're reputable. They've been relied upon by a lot of national conservative organizations. And I don't think it's helpful to disparage the people who are, frankly, brave enough to speak out and provide analyses of the impacts of illegal immigration.

Scott Smith: Well, let’s ask a question. I got to ask ourselves, have we not created the types of jobs? That begs the question, what kind of jobs have we created if every single one is taken by an illegal immigrant? We are in worse trouble from an economic standpoint than we are from an immigration standpoint because we're not creating any high-quality jobs, because I don't think people who cross the border and walked across the desert into that high-paying engineering job, and they're not walking into that high-paying, highly-skilled job we so covet in this state, which we're not creating, or in this country, which we're not creating -- I think -- I don't know that you --

Andrew Thomas: Excuse me, Scott. Legal immigrants are taking those jobs. Do you understand? Legal immigrants are taking those jobs from India and -- I said legal and illegal in case you weren't listening. That’s what I said. That's what the study says. That's where those jobs are going. That's what I said two minutes ago. Role the tape back.

Scott Smith: But it still comes back to the basic question: What are we doing to drive our economy to create these jobs that our kids, when they're graduating from college they can walk into a job, they can walk into a future? That's where we need to be focused.

Ted Simons: Illegal immigration, that issue and Arizona's economy. How intertwined and if so, it's a federal responsibility, what can you do as governor?

Doug Ducey: It's a big issue, and I think the governor has to do everything that they can do. It's the federal government's first job to protect its citizens, and I think by any measure, Barack Obama has failed Arizona and America. I come at this from the perspective of Brian Terry's mother, I was asked to speak at the Brian Terry dinner in Tucson earlier this year. Brian Terry was a border agent murdered at the border. The guest honoree that night was Sue Krentz. Her husband, Bob, was murdered at his ranch, and Sue asked the audience, what has the federal government done in response to these tragedies? And what they've done, Ted, is they put up signs in the desert warning us that dangerous people are among us and if you see one call 9-1-1. That's why I've said I'm for all of the above and whatever it takes as governor in Arizona, we have a different issue than other states, because we are on the southern border and these folks are coming through an open and unprotected desert in the Tucson sector, there are drug cartels, and human trafficking, and our governor can reprioritize public safety and law enforcement assets to address it.

Ted Simons: She can, she hasn't. Why not?

Doug Ducey: I think our governor has been outspoken on this. This has heated back up again. And there's been nothing done on the Tucson sector by our federal government.

Ted Simons: Some would say she hasn't, because she can't. And you have mentioned you want guard troops on the border, you want more law enforcement, you want to finish the fence. Electronic monitoring, send the bill to President Obama. Some would say when you're asking for, we can't afford, and legally we can't do. How do you respond to that?

Christine Jones: I think let's rationalize this conversation. There are two distinct issues here. One is immigration policy, which is distinctly federal policy. We all sitting at this table wish we could wave our magic wand and fix it, because frankly, it's not all that hard. It's just the Congress won't do it. The second issue is border security. As governor you can, and we should, fix that. I've said I want to send troops to the border, finish the fence in strategic areas. We don't need the great wall of Mexico here, friends. We need to finish in places known highly trafficked areas and use technology to monitor who is coming and going. This is decidedly within the rights of the governor and as governor that's what I'll do. You saw Rick Perry this morning call for a thousand troops at the border. He's doing the same thing I'll do as the governor. He has a slightly larger territory to guard so he's asked the federal government to supplement it with an additional 3,000 troops. This is good solid policy, and Scott I know you're going to say it's 2,000 miles of border, but we have 262 miles in Arizona that are at issue. We're almost 50% of the immigration that is coming across. Importantly, please let me finish this, we're not talking about shutting down the border. We're talking about understanding who's coming and going. We want good solid commercial traffic to come across. Mexico is our single largest trading partner. That's good economic stimulus. We want that to increase, in fact. But let's know who's coming and going. Let's make safe, secure, stable environment for the citizens of Arizona.

Ted Simons: Who pays for this, Ken? Who pays for it? And what do they do once they get to the border?

Ken Bennett: You're not going to pay for it with a magic wand and you’re not going to pay for it by sending the bill to Congress because they've already not paid several bills. If I get to be the governor, one of the most important things governor has to do is work with the legislature. When I was president of the senate we passed a bill in 2006, unfortunately Janet Napolitano vetoed it. But that bill would have approved $50 million for high-tech border detection devices, $55 million to assist the local law enforcement, especially along the border counties, 100 new DPS officers, authority to put the National Guard down in the times it can be deployed that way. Employers sanction and all kinds of other things. Unfortunately, it was vetoed. If we had done those kinds of things consistently for the last eight or nine years, I think the situation at the border would be much different today. And that's the kind of bill I will ask for and sign if I'm governor.

Ted Simons: Do you think the situation at the border would be much different if that thing had been signed?

Scott Smith: Well, I'm just wondering how we could have kept paying for it. Here’s the reality. This is a huge, huge problem. It's a huge issue. And I would love to say as governor, as any governor -- I'm going to wave the magic wand and say here’s what we’re going to do. But then reality sets in, and the fact is nobody here is talking reality. The reality is yes, the federal government, not only by policy but by practice, is the one that is meant to secure the border. There are things we could do as a state internally, but with what? I was talking to a sheriff in a rural county. Who was lamenting the fact the DPS budget has been cut so much that now DPS is not responding to certain traffic accidents on state highways hoping the sheriff will show up. We talk about all this money we're going to spend, 200 million, a hundred million a year. Ken, with all do respect, those things were passed during a time in history the greatest expansion of our economy, where we had excesses.

Ken Bennett: And we had a balanced budget and a billion dollars in the rainy day fund.

Scott Smith: Because we were swimming in revenue during very good times. What are we going to do? We have to talk about what reality is. And the fact is it a 2,000 mile problem, all of these children that are coming, a horrible situation, are crossing in Texas. There not crossing in Arizona. There are things Arizona can do, but Doug hasn't offered anything. Everything we might perhaps possibly maybe could do, that's not a solution. That's not an action.

Ted Simons: Let Doug respond.

Doug Ducey: I have offered things we can do. When I say more fencing, new technology, and that we reprioritize the $300 million in the DPS budget, when we partner with county sheriffs and when we aim at criminals and drug cartels and human trafficking, that is doing something, Scott. And the thing is that many of us or some of us are good at telling people what can't be done. I think a governor has to show what needs to be done and has to be the spokesperson for it. We will need over the course of time our federal government’s participation to check this off the box. But the governor, just like our current governor, should wave this flag, this is an issue, and Texas has a river, New Mexico has a mountain range, California has a fence. Our border is wide open and unprotected and the governor needs to continue to speak out on this.

Scott Smith: You still haven't answered the question.

Doug Ducey: I said all of the above and whatever it takes.

Scott Smith: What you're saying is this governor has done nothing.

Doug Ducey: No, I’m not. Those are your words.

Scott Smith: No, Governor Jan Brewer, I can tell you, if there was something to be done, she would have done it. I’m not saying what can’t be done. I'm saying what is realistic to promise the voters of Arizona and the expectations we can give to the voter of Arizona, and you're giving them an illusory promise --

Doug Ducey: This issue has gone from a state issue to now it is a national issue.

Scott Smith: No, it was a national issue and .

Doug Ducey: With people -- When people see what is happening with the transportation of thousands of illegal immigrants from Texas --

Scott Smith: Which budget are you going to cut to transfer that? DPS officers haven't received a raise.

Doug Ducey: I've spoken out --

Scott Smith: We've cut the number of DPS officers. What are you going to cut out to DPS?

Doug Ducey: I’m I going to get to answer or are you going to filibuster. I'm going to reprioritize the $300 million being spent. We're also working on replenishing and restructuring the RiCOH funds so we can have an infusion of cash at the county level to the county sheriff and to county prosecutors, and we're also crunching the numbers on privatizing the Arizona Lottery that would provide to $20-40 million in flexible funds on an annual basis. That's real money and that's the type of work we're doing in our office.

Frank Riggs: This is so typical. Lottery revenues have been pledged by an act of the state legislature, signed by the governor. Those are revenues that are earmarked for K-12 education. Again, kind of a hollow promise. I want to ask Scott though very directly, because he says there's virtually nothing that can be done.

Scott Smith: I didn't say that.

Frank Riggs: Well, but you implied that the state is very limited in what it can do. What about interior enforcement in the state of Arizona? What about -- SB 1062. Because the primary author of that legislation, former state president Russell Pearce –

Christine Jones: I think he means 1070.

Frank Riggs: I’m sorry 1070. Thank you for the correction, 1070. He's taken a lot of heat for that particular legislation. But the legislation, the provisions that stand today after the extensive legal challenges allow a local law enforcement officer in the state of Arizona to be able to fully enforce federal immigration law when they have probable cause to believe that an individual that they've detained is in our state illegally in violation of federal immigration law. You oppose SB 1070.

Scott Smith: First of all, the -- Police officers in Arizona have always had that ability. The city of Mesa within a month after coming into office, we put in, I led the effort to put in an immigration enforcement policy that basically instructed our officers how to enforce, how to use probable cause to enforce immigration policy. It was two years before SB 1070. We trained every one of our officers in immigration enforcement. We brought certain officers in our jails, 286-G training. But the fact is that one problem with SB 1070, and this is a normal problem, this is why I ask the question. As a mayor, I looked at SB 1070, it didn't change what Mesa Police Department could do. We were already on the front lines of doing that. What it also did not do, did it not include one cent from the state for enforcement. It pushed all of the monies down to the counties and cities. And that's the problem I bring up. If we're serious about this, let's find the money to do it and let's do it.

Ted Simons: Andrew.

Andrew Thomas: Ted, I think I've been very patient because this is something very close to my heart and I appreciate the opportunity to be heard. Look, we have to secure our border. Arizona has to do it. The federal government is not going to do it, and if we don't do it soon, it's going to be too late for this state as it is for other states. We need to put the National Guard on the border with sufficient numbers to get the job done. We need to fully complete a fence. I respectfully disagree with Christine on that. We need to have a full fence there. The voters deserve to know how we're paying for that. I going to have more to say about that here in the future. But let's be honest. Giving more money to --

Christine Jones: You want me to take a page -- [inaudible]

Andrew Thomas: Actually, your plan is to send the bill to Obama. I promise I'll do better than that.

Christine Jones: Actually, it doesn’t. It calls for the legislature to appropriate the funds. But okay, go on.

Frank Riggs: There’s no way. It would break the state budget.

Andrew Thomas: If I could finish --

Christine Jones: Frank, we spend $2.8 billion right now on this problem, don't you think you could take 10% of it to --

Frank Riggs: And the bill’s been sent back from Washington how many times, Christine? And what response did that get?

Christine: And what did Doug do to collect it? We talked to him about this before, he hasn't done a single solitary thing, and yet, he signs the checks, every single one of those $2.8 billion in checks –

[TALKING AT ONCE]

Andrew Thomas: Can I at least finish my point?

Ted Simons: Andrew's got the floor here. Go ahead.

Andrew Thomas: Thank you. We talked about some other issues, but we've got to be honest here. Giving more money to sheriffs and county prosecutors, activist judges have thrown out virtually all of our immigration laws. The one law that remains is the employers’ sanctions law and the last case filed against a business for hiring illegals was filed five years ago by me. Nobody is enforcing these laws and we have to take about these very serious structural challenges and we've got to get somebody with a record of stopping illegal immigration and not just election year lip service.

Ted Simons: Ken, you mentioned Arizona's image in a couple of different ways. What kind of image does it present when angry protestors are surrounding a bus filled with children? Is that good for Arizona?

Ken Bennett: Well, I don't know that that actually has happened in Arizona.

Ted Simons: Well, it was the wrong bus of children --

Ken Bennett: It was supposed to happen, but the bus never showed up. You know, I think people are tired of our border being broken, and our country being invaded. I believe the principles of being good neighbors between a country are the same principles as being good neighbors on the street. A lot of people, not all, but many have a wall or fence between their property. Because when a good neighbor wants to visit, they call ahead, they show up at your front door. You meet them at the front door, you welcome them in and have dinner or watch TV or do whatever you do and then they go back out the front door. A good neighbor doesn't hop your fence, break into your garage and live out of your freezer. So we have to cooperate with the federal government and we can and will make resources available at the state level to be a partner with them in securing our border. It's interesting that we've got five other people up here talking about how to balance the state budget, but the only one that's balanced a state budget was me in the four years that I was president of the senate. And we balanced the state budget and left a billion dollars in the rainy day fund. And we can do it again, but it takes experience.

Ted Simons: I've heard some folks saying cooperating with the federal government. Doug, can you cooperate with the federal government when you are threatening, when you are having angry words, when you are pointing fingers in faces? How do you cooperate with the federal government on this issue?

Doug Ducey: I think you begin by being the chief executive officer of the state of Arizona. And then when there are opportunities, I mean, this is our federal government. It is not serving us. You know, what I've said is in some of these rooms is in 2016, our long national nightmare will be over. And we'll have a new president. So I do think the Obama administration has got some political type of payback for Arizona, but these things will change. So as governor, I not only want to do everything possible at the state level, but when there are willing people at the elected level, you need to work with them to do what can be done.

Ted Simons: Please.

Frank Riggs: Honestly, the solution to this, people can beat their chest, I just want to say again, I put on the uniform of my country. I voluntarily enlisted. I put my life on the line. I did the same thing when I put on the badge and served as a police officer and deputy sheriff. It's easy to use a lot of red meat rhetoric when you're not in harm's way and have no actual experience with that kind of service. But what I want to say is I'll have immediate credibility and respect with the United States Congress because I've served in Congress with distinction as a reformer and leader of that institution. I know where the men's room is. And I'll have that ability to influence the Arizona congressional delegation, the leadership in Congress, and, yes, this administration to advance Arizona's interests which means a partnership, a federal, state, local partnership to secure the border and fully enforce immigration law, both at the border and interior Arizona.

Scott Smith: Leadership is about not only making decisions, but getting things done. As a mayor, you can scream all you want, but if you don't pick up the garbage on Thursday, people notice. So you learn to get things done. I've engaged with the federal government, both as a mayor and as president of the U.S Conference of Mayors. I had the opportunity to go in and engage people I did not agree with, but I understood that the Obama administration regardless of what I thought of their politics has a huge impact on Arizona, including the border security, including the EPA. And when we had the EPA that was this close to shutting down construction industry in Arizona, I didn’t scream and yell. I got on a plane, went back to Washington and sat down with a top official at the EPA, and we opened up a dialog. We started talking about the real issues and the real problems. And that led to an historic agreement between Maricopa County, Maricopa County Association of Governments, the state, and the EPA on dust control. That's how you get things done is you engage.

Ted Simons: One of the first things the next governor will have to get done is figure out what to do with education spending, especially with the inflation adjustment ruling. Christine, what do you do with inflation adjustment education funds, and was the legislature right in withholding those funds when they did?

Christine Jones: You know, as CPA, I think any of the gimmicks the legislature uses to balance the budget is a little bit dangerous. I think we also have to acknowledge that Governor Brewer took over at time when the budget and the economic situation was very difficult. And they had to do what they had to do. So for us to now sit and throw hand grenades into the arena when we weren't part of the conversation I think is a little disingenuous. But nevertheless, we are where we are. We have court rulings. We're waiting for a couple of others, and if in the end, we have to pay back the money, we are going to have to tighten our belt in some ways that we haven't done before. We're already kind of down to the bone. We're talking about getting too narrow now, in terms of budget cuts. But we do have some things that we can do in this state to lay the ground work for businesses to create jobs. And this is one of the things we learned at GoDaddy going from just a few dozen employees to 4,000, most of those jobs right here in Arizona. Mayor Smith talks about creating good-paying jobs. We learned a thing or two about that at GoDaddy. Part of it really is to sit down with CEOs and to say, you know, let me explain to you why Arizona is your wisest choice. We had a chance to go to Texas. You know why we didn't go to Texas? Because we knew the difference. So part of it is displaying that leadership, part of it is taking the argument out of it. And one of the reasons I'm running for governor, Ted, is this argument that's going on here. Because what you hear people talking about is, all kinds of stuff that can't be done. You can't do this, you can't do that. You know what? I even -- This very morning, today, Doug's campaign put an ad on TV talking about my plan being inconsistent. You know what? Why don't you stop attacking each other and talk about what you can do. This is important stuff.

Doug Ducey: Christine --

Christine Jones: If we're talking about secure the border and send the federal government the bill, how could anything be any plainer? What we're talking about here is how are you are going to pay for education funding; let's talk about paying for education funding --

Doug Ducey: This is a dialogue, not a monologue. That was a perfect service announcement by the way, Christine. It's important that when you say something --

Christine Jones: A public service announcement paid for by Ducey 2014?

Doug Ducey: When you say something on television and you say something exactly opposite in private, that somebody points it out. But to your question --

Christine Jones: I understand now why you didn't collect the money because you don't know how to add up money right?

Ted Simons: Let him respond --

Doug Ducey: And I'll address the state’s finances and where they are versus when I came into office --

Christine Jones: Except you won't address the question, Doug, which is what you usually do at these forums --

Doug Ducey: In terms of the education funding, which was your question. Let me answer first with what I won't do. I won't raise taxes. After that, I think we have four options. The first is to comply, the second is to appeal the ruling, and I applaud the governor because she has appealed the ruling. The third is to actually restructure the formulas. And that's what I want to do inside a Ducey administration. The fourth is to ignore it, so I wouldn't ignore it. I wouldn’t comply with it. I would appeal it and I would restructure these funding formulas. We have $9 billion that’s been washing through K-12 education at the state, local, and federal level to educate just over 1 million children. We need to quit making spending the measure of success and start making results-based outcomes the measure of success in K-12.

Frank Riggs: You didn't mention once in there –- that kind of turned into = a monologue –- but his repeated promises on the campaign trail to fully abolish state income tax.

Doug Ducey: That isn't what I said.

[TALKING AT ONCE]

Frank Riggs: Doug, you’re out-voted here five to one. Or four to one, I’m sorry about that because Andy hasn’t participated.

Doug Ducey: It’s all in my plan, and you can read the exact language.

Frank Riggs: A plan without experience is just words on a piece of paper.

Frank Riggs: Let me finish. And also, as an incumbent statewide office holder, we didn't hear a peep out of you when Common Core and Medicaid expansion were going into effect. Not one word. But I'm sure you had a wet finger in the breeze.

Doug Ducey: Frank, if I’m going to be addressed, I'm going to have --

Ted Simons: Let him respond to that.

Doug Ducey: Frank, on Proposition 204, which raised the sales tax permanently a billion dollars, they named the state treasurer 11 times. I stepped forward and Prop 204 lost in every county in this state, and last year your taxes actually went down. You had --

Frank Riggs: What did you do on the proposition before 204?

Doug Ducey: I was opposed to that.

Frank Riggs: Publically?

Doug Ducey: Yes, I was opposed to that. I was running for treasurer, my first time in public office. Frank you had every opportunity to step forward on these issues as well. You could have led a coalition, what did you do?

Frank Riggs: I wasn't an incumbent holding a state office, and I certainly wasn't state treasurer at the time. Had I been, I know what I would have done.

[TALKING AT ONCE]

Scott Smith: You take credit for the financial condition the state is in. The state is in the financial condition it's in because, and I agree with Christine, the legislature did what it had to do. But you opposed Prop 100, which was Governor Brewer's temporary sales tax, which the vast majority of Arizona voters approved of. Our budget was covered by that sales tax, by massive amounts of debt including selling state buildings like our state capitol and massive infusion of Obama stimulus monies. The legislature did do what it had to do, but let's not sit here and take credit and stroke and say we did a wonderful job when actually you opposed the very things that got us to where we are. And that's what you've done.

Doug Ducey: No, that's not what I did. I kept –

[TALKING AT ONCE]

Doug Ducey: Let me finish. Scott, Scott --

Ted Simons: Let him answer.

Doug Ducey: I kept the temporary tax temporary. When I ran for treasurer in December 2009, the state was being described as bankrupt and insolvent. Not a dollar in the rainy day fund. Not a dollar in the checking account. Today we have $2.3 billion cash in that operating account, we have $454 million in a reserve account earning interest and the permanent land endowment trust fund is at an all-time record high. You can go to aztreasury.gov to see these numbers. The state is in better financial condition, so just where you know where I'll be, Scott, I'll always be on the side of the taxpayer. Not on the side of the tax collectors.

[TALKING AT ONCE]

Scott Smith: How it got to where it was are things that you opposed. You can't have it both ways. You can't take credit for something and then say were you against everything that got us here.

Ted Simons: Ken, please…

Ken Bennett: The reason the state sits on about $2 billion of funding right now is because we have been delaying funds to the schools for over a billion dollars, and we have swept almost $800 million from the local governments, the cities and towns and counties and done other accounting tricks and gimmicks. So it's a falsehood to say that we are in this strong financial position.

Ted Simons: Was it wrong, then, for the legislature to withhold those inflation adjusted funds?

Ken Bennett: Well, one court has said it was. One said it wasn't --

Ted Simons: What do you say?

Ken Bennett: And it will be appealed. That's a court's decision. I read the language that the voters approved 10 years ago to say you can fund this part of the formula or that part of the formula. So I read an ‘or’ as an ‘or.’ The court has now said you should read it as an ‘and.’ And you have to fund the entire formula. So, the courts will decide that. But when I was senate president, we not only fully funded student growth and inflation, but we also added more new money to K-12 than any other four-year period in the history of the state. Now, many will say, you were there during the good times, Ken. No, three and four, '03 and '04 were tough times. We still had to balance a budget in tough times, coming out of the economic downturn of Y2K and 9-11. '05 and '06 got pretty healthy because the economy was healthy, and yes, we were able to do some good things. But everybody is arguing about how do you balance the state budget, but no one except me has done it.

Ted Simons: Andrew, I want to get back, this is a primary debate for governor. And a governor has a decision to make regarding following what the voters want in terms of inflation adjusted education funds, or not. Legislature, governor decided not. Was that the right thing to do?

Andrew Thomas: Well, when the voters speak, politicians should salute and implement their will. We've got court rulings that are determining that outcome, and that process hasn't fully played out. But let me just say this -- The reality is, this is -- For all -- We are focusing on the shortcomings of Arizona. I guess just because we want to make things better. But this is a great and vibrant state; this is a relatively wealthy state. We can pay our obligations, if we put first things first. Education obviously is very important. I have four children; they've been a part of this system for some time. But let's not forget the other things that can improve our education system. We have a very strong charter school system in Arizona. It's something we should be proud of. That is a strength for us. I believe in school choice. I don't know where my opponents stand, but I do think school choice strengthens our education system. I oppose Common Core. I think that was a very wrongheaded move, and I support the repeal of Common Core. And we need to have somebody who will also make sure that our schools are centers of order and discipline, and when we have these school shootings, they happen all over the nation, but these are real threats and we need to make sure when our children go to school they're safe.

Ted Simons: Frank, really quickly. Common Core?

Frank Riggs: That wasn’t the question, was it?

Ted Simons: But I’m asking you. Common Core, he brought up Common Core.

Frank Riggs: I am the only candidate, and I can't speak for Andy because really until very recently he hasn't participated at all in the many, many forums and debates we've done --

Andrew Thomas: Not true.

Frank Riggs: Very true. But I am the only candidate at the forums that has said I will use the executive authority of the governor's office to repeal Arizona's participation in Common Core on day one.

Ted Simons: Why?

Frank Riggs: Because it represents the further federalization of K-12 education, the nationalization of the standards and tests that we use to educate our kids, those are responsibilities and decisions of Arizonans for Arizona kids. And the other why, Ted, because it goes right back to what you said, I don't believe in doing the state budget by popular referendum. But if the judge's ruling stands, the fact of the matter is we have to look at every dollar. The Arizona association of school business officials says it will cost over $350 million to fully implement Common Core. That's money that we -- is better spent to comply with the court mandate, if it stands.

Ted Simons: Christine, Common Core. Good for Arizona? Would you repeal it? If Common Core were proven to be very beneficial as far as education is concerned, would you think twice about it?

Christine Jones: I think you make an assumption that’s difficult to prove out. But I will say, when my husband retired from the military, he became a high school teacher. So we've had a really good view at a grass-roots level, day-to-day basis for the last 12 years sort of the evolution from Ames into the implementation of Common Core. I'm opposed to it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is we ought not to federalize the standard making of education, but specifically when you're a teacher, and you're in the classroom, and you're looking eyeball-to-eyeball with children and a disproportionately large section of your class time is required to comply with the standard, and you're left with very little time to actually educate, it creates a very difficult learning environment.

Ted Simons: Very quickly then, no standards?

Christine Jones: Standards are good. High standards are better. An academically rigorous environment is essential, but they have to be applied at the local level. But we also know, the standards aren't the only thing that matters because we have three of the top ten high schools in the country right here in Arizona; we have some of the bottom, right? So it tells me as a business person, who's running these schools matters. Who is teaching your kids matters.

Ted Simons: Scott, I want to get you on Common Core.

Scott Smith: I think this shows what the real problem is. Common Core has become a completely political debate. Unfortunately, one thing we don't talk about is the children. I have supported Arizona College and Career Ready Standards from day one. My father was an educator; I believe in high standards. I believe in local control. I would never accept anything that is Washington run. But I think right now as I go around the state I'm finding that we're so discussing the politics of education that we forget what's happening in the classroom. We're not talking about what happens between that child and that teacher. That’s what I would focus on. If we take a timeout on whatever you call it, Common Core, whatever program it is, we need to take a timeout because I'm worried about the implementation of something that is not supported and we need to get back to what happens in the classroom.

Ted Simons: Common Core?

Doug Ducey: I'm opposed to Common Core because it ties Arizona into funding from Washington, DC and purchases obedience on the waiver of mandate from No Child Left Behind. We do need high standards. I've talked in my plan about standards I would lead with in a Ducey administration. We want our kids – I mean, this is about the right teachers in the classroom. This is about committed principals. But this is also about these funding formulas that I think everyone would agree are failing us. And that we need -- We have waitlisted our best schools that Christine mentioned. There's a 2,000-kid waitlist at BASIS, a 12,000-kid waitlist at Great Hearts. Some of our K-12 systems that are excelling with committed principals have a waitlist. These dollars need to follow the child and allow them to be in the classroom.

Ted Simons: Ken, everyone seems to be against Common Core. If Common Core were proven to be a successful, a positive impact on education, on children, would you still be against it for what Scott would say would be political reasons?

Ken Bennett: No, of course not. We should be focused on what's going to help the students. I visited a school in south Tucson a few months ago where a new principal showed up about six years ago and at the time only 20% of the students could read and write at grade level. Very low-income portion of Tucson, over 92% qualified for free and reduced lunch. Six years later that number is over 75% of the students at or above grade level in reading and writing and they did it without Common Core. The last time standards were adopted in the state was the Arizona Academic Standards in the mid-90s. I was on the state board of education. But we adopted them by getting a thousand Arizonans together. They should be Arizona-based. I don't like the tie-in to federal money; I don’t like the tie-in to the data collection on students. But if they were proven to help Arizona students and you could get rid of all the other stuff, then let's make them better by making them Arizona standards and get rid of some of the crap in there.

Ted Simons: Okay, and we'll stop it right there. Each candidate will now give a one-minute closing statement. Going in reverse order of the opening remarks, we start with Ken Bennett.

Ken Bennett: Thank you for viewing this evening. I'm Ken Bennett, and I'm running to serve as your governor. If you remember one thing about me, I would suggest it be experience matters. We've seen a lot of heated debate going on, and I know about heated debate because I've served in legislative bodies, like the state senate, and you get passionate about things. But what Arizona needs and what its people deserve is a governor who can bring people together. During the four years I was senate president, we didn't pass the budgets by just getting all of one party and a couple of the other or vice versa. We had to work together, the Republicans had a narrow majority in the senate that I was the CEO of, but I met every week with the leaders of the Democratic caucus, and we found ways to not only get a majority of the Republican caucus to support the budget, but we got a majority of the Democratic caucus to support those budgets as well. Arizona deserves someone who can bring people together and get things done for the people of Arizona. And that's what I will bring as your governor. Ken Bennett, Bennettarizona.com is our website. Thank you for looking in this evening.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. For our next closing statement, we turn to Christine Jones.

Christine Jones: Thanks, Ted. Thanks so much for hosting tonight and thanks for listening and for hearing us out on where we plan to take the state. I do think that there are nice guys in this race. And I've developed a level of respect for each of them, and we've gotten to know each other pretty well. But I also know that even with these gentlemen already in place, each of them either in office or having been in office, there's still a vacuum. And we still have so many of these conversations about what's wrong and what we can't do, and I think that vacuum needs to be filled by a fearless, determined, proven leader, and that's why I'm running for governor. I've then been in office before, I don't owe anybody anything. But as I travel around the state and this conservative outsider message resonates, it confirms what I suspected all along, that voters kind of think the same way I do. So I'm Christine Jones, I'm running for governor, I would love to have your support. I hope you vote for me. In this state less than 10% of the population are going to elect the next governor. So go find some people and get them to vote too. Thanks.

Ted Simons: Thank you. Andrew Thomas now with his closing statement.

Andrew Thomas: Arizona is one of the great places on earth in which to live. That's why my wife and I moved here 23 years ago. But it is only going to remain that way if we defend the state from the threats that confront us. We need to have somebody who will be tough in dealing with those threats. When I was Maricopa County attorney, I increased the incarceration rate dramatically and criminals were taken off the street and crime rates went down throughout the valley. And it benefited the entire state. When I enforce the law, illegal immigrants fled the state. Now they stay and protest because they have no fear of law enforcement and indeed why should they? Nobody is doing much of anything. We need to have somebody who is tough, who will confront the issue that will not go away, because there is so little political courage, and actual know-how in dealing with it. That is what I offer. We must secure our border now. We must stop illegal immigration now before it is too late, and if we do that, things will get better, and Arizona has a bright and shining future once we put first things first. Thank you and god bless you.

Ted Simons: Thank you. And with our next closing statement we turn to Frank Riggs.

Frank Riggs: Thank you, Ted and ladies and gentlemen. I'm Frank Riggs, I have a lifetime of leadership, service and experience that I want to offer my fellow Arizonans. I will be the strong governor that Arizona needs. I'm not looking at the next elective office, I'm not looking at reentering politics for the long-term. I'm running for governor of Arizona because we need a strong, proven, tested, trusted leader at the helm. I'm endorsed by state senator Russell Pearce, state senator Judy Burgess, former U.S. senator Rick Santorum; I've received the endorsement of Arizonans Against Common Core for my commitment to repeal Common Core on day one, from the American Association of Physician and Surgeons from my commitment to roll back the unsustainable expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, which takes a trillion dollars out of Medicare over the next decade. And I'm endorsed by the National Council of Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans because they know I'll never leave my fellow veterans behind. I'm Frank Riggs, RiggsforAZGOV.com.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. Doug Ducey now with his closing remarks.

Frank Riggs: Thanks, Ted. Appreciate being here tonight. My name is Doug Ducey, and I do want to be your next governor. I've built the broadest coalition of any candidate in this race. From the Tea Party Patriot founders to social conservatives, to fiscal conservatives, to Arizona business legend Jerry Colangelo. And the reason they've supported our campaign is the vision I have for an Arizona that leads the nation. I built a company, now I want to shrink a government and grow an economy. If you like what I'm talking about and you want to be a part of this, I want to ask you to help in any way you can. Please go to DougDucey.com, Doug Ducey on Facebook or @dougducey on Twitter. It's time to kick start our economy, put real solutions in our K-12 system so we have better outcomes for our kids and truly secure our border. I'll be the governor who will get it done, and I'm asking for your vote. Thanks for having me here tonight.

Ted Simons: And with our final closing statement, Scott Smith.

Scott Smith: Thank you, Ted. If you noticed a little feistiness tonight, I think it's because there's a lot of pent-up frustration. As candidates, we have very rarely been able to actually mix it up. And I think that’s healthy. I think that’s good to actually hear different ideas and hear different viewpoints. But it reminds me a lot of –- you know, I was at a carnival, and as you’re walking down the aisle and you hear all the barkers there promising this and you look over and there's big teddy bears hanging from the things, and they tell you, these Ping-Pong balls will actually stay on these plates. And these bottles will –- These rings will go on these bottles, and basically they're empty promises meant to entice you to come into something that’s just not real. As we go through this, look and see who’s actually led in a time of crisis. I'm the only candidate here who has balanced a budget six years in a row as mayor of Mesa. But we not only said what we couldn't do; we created things and opportunities. We brought in colleges. We brought in Apple with a $2 billion investment. We took care of business, we handled a crisis, and we created a future. That's not a carnival barker, that's reality. That's what you do as a mayor. You lead and you have proven leadership and I'm the only candidate with a proven track record of accomplishments. Thank you very much. Scott Smith, former mayor of Mesa. VoteScottSmith.com. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you very much. Thank you candidates and thank you for watching this special “Vote 2014” Clean Elections debate featuring candidates in the Republican primary for governor. Arizona Horizon’s next debate will be Monday, July 28th, when we hear from candidates running in the Republican primary for state attorney general. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

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