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Arizona’s newly chosen Republican nominee for governor, Doug Ducey, said his upbringing in Toledo imbued him with Midwestern values.
Mr. Ducey, 50, grew up in Toledo and moved by himself to Arizona shortly after graduating from St. John’s Jesuit High School in 1982.
He beat five opponents for the GOP nomination for governor Tuesday, and now faces Democrat Fred DuVal in the general election. Arizona is seen as leaning Republican in the governor’s contest, according to political Web site realclearpolitics.com.
He told The Blade Wednesday that he visits Toledo annually and retains fond memories. He has a sister in Michigan and a brother in Cincinnati.
“I loved growing up in Toledo. I think I’m very much a product of the Midwest and Midwestern values. It was a terrific place to spend my childhood,” Mr. Ducey said. The family dog is named Woody in honor of legendary Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes.
Mr. Ducey’s mother, now Madeline Burke, and father, Doug Ducey, who was a Toledo policeman, divorced when Mr. Ducey was a junior in high school. He attended Blessed Sacrament grade school through fifth grade, Gesu School in sixth grade, and Fallen Timbers Middle School in Anthony Wayne School District for seventh and eighth grade. After high school, he moved to Arizona because a high school counselor told him its colleges were affordable and offered opportunities.
High school friend Scott Savage of Sylvania Township said Mr. Ducey lived in the Brandywine area of Monclova Township while he was in high school.
“He graduated in 1982, packed up his Toyota, drove to Arizona State. It’s a great American success story. He didn’t know a soul and 32 years later, he’s the Republican nominee for governor,” Mr. Savage said.
“He’ll be a great governor,” Mr. Savage said. “He’s truly one of the good guys.”
Mr. Ducey led startup ice cream company Cold Stone Creamery to success and in 2007 as its CEO, he and a business partner sold the company. The business grew from a local scoop shop in Tempe, Ariz., to more than 1,440 locations in 31 countries. In 2010, he ran successfully for state treasurer.
If elected, he would replace Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who could not seek re-election because of term limits. His supporters included Tea Party favorites Sarah Palin, Tea Party Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and hard-line Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Asked if he might lean too far rightward for moderate or independent voters, Mr. Ducey named some of his other supporters and said, “I feel I’ve built a very broad coalition and the results yesterday reflect that.”
He campaigned on rejuvenating the state’s economy, improving education, and shaking free of federal constraints.
While calling for better border security, Mr. Ducey avoided demands for comprehensive immigration reform and providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Mr. Savage said friends held a fund-raiser for Mr. Ducey at Mancy’s Steak House in Toledo in May.
He and his wife, Angela, have three sons, Jack, 17; Joe, 15, and Sam, 11.