Three takeaways for ASU students from the gubernatorial debate

Candidates for Arizona governor debated about education, the economy and immigration

Three candidates for Arizona governor debated Sept. 24 on Arizona Horizon for the Clean Elections debate. Those present included current Gov. Doug Ducey, ASU professor David Garcia and airline industry worker Angel Torres.

Though the conversation was dominated by K-12 education funding, the candidates also discussed the economy of Arizona as well as border security. Below, we highlighted these main points, along with each candidates position upon the matters and what they were going to do about them.

Education:

Doug Ducey (R): Ducey said he is working with his office to continue to improve the education budget raises that he put in place earlier this year, which increases teacher pay by 20 percent by 2020. "There is a record amount of money going into K-12 education ... I believe there is more needed," Ducey said.

David Garcia (D): Garcia was strongly opposed to how Ducey has handled the teacher pay raises, and said there needs to be more and it needs to be implemented better. As a teacher himself, he said he stands strongly alongside #RedforEd, saying "I will continue to stand with them." 

Angel Torres (G): Angel stressed that he was a union worker as an airline industry worker, and that is something that has helped him rise up in the industry. He said this idea of unionizing and banding together is why he stands with #RedforEd and wants more funding for education. "I signed a pledge ... they're my fellow union members so of course I will be there with them."

Immigration:

Doug Ducey (R): Ducey said a strong border is what keeps Arizonans safe. He said his policies of having border control with a great presence down at the border has kept "12 million hits of fentanyl ... 17 million of heroin" out of Arizona.   

David Garcia (D): Garcia said he wants to allow citizens to move more freely throughout the border area in Arizona. He said that though security is important, so is lawful entry and America should be a place of refuge. Ducey suggested that Garcia would be putting Arizonans and Americans at risk with his more open border reform ideas, but Garcia said "to give this idea that in any way I would have unsafe conditions for Arizonans is against who I am."

Angel Torres (G): Angel said he wants to fix not just the border, but the country on the other side. "People are fleeing poverty in these nations," Torres said. With stronger relations and better international trade agreements, Torres said refugees and immigrants may simply want to stay in their own countries.

Economy:

Doug Ducey (R): Ducey said Arizona's economy is booming, and continuing to do so. He said the main reason is that Arizona is bringing in new businesses as well as large corporations. "I think of us as a startup state, a place that's welcome to entrepreneurs." 

David Garcia (D): Garcia said there was much room for improvement, and that Arizona often is last economically when compared to its neighbors. He said "we are last routinely with the exception of New Mexico in job growth." He also said that the state should focus not on the people coming in, but those who are staying in Arizona and that have established themselves as residents in Arizona by funding better education.

Angel Torres (G): Torres agreed with Ducey that the economy is booming, but he said it is not strong. "We can't have a strong economy when one in seven Arizonans is living in poverty," he said. Torres stated that the state should be concentrating on strengthening its economy by allowing better unions and encouraging worker-owned business in the rural parts of Arizona.


 Reach the reporter at  mlshuman@asu.edu or follow @mackenzieshuman on Twitter.

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