2 Republican hopefuls announce bids for Arizona governor

May 18, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — State Treasurer Kimberly Yee on Monday became the first major Republican to jump into the race for Arizona governor, followed hours later by GOP developer Karrin Taylor Robson.

Yee announced her plans in a social media video. She introduces herself as the descendent of immigrants who opened a grocery store in the 1930s and praises former President Donald Trump’s border and economic policies. She pledges to tackle border security and oppose socialist policies, which she says have damaged California, where she used to live.

“Our way of life is under attack by the corrupt press, reckless corporate leaders and politicians who put socialist ideals over people, our freedom of speech and our elections,” Yee says in the video.

Robson, who serves on the Arizona Board of Regents, also made her announcement via video, although it was less heavy on policy and personal background. She said she’s a lifelong conservative Republican.

“In just a few months, we’ve seen the direction Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to take this country, and as Arizonans, we need to fight back,” Robson said. “We going to fight for Arizona values” and vowed to “fight the “radical Biden-Harris agenda.”

Both are seeking to win the GOP primary next year. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is barred by term limits from seeking a third term.

Yee’s video heavily focused on national issues and figures, showing images of Democratic politicians unpopular with Republicans, including Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Govs. Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

As treasurer, Yee oversees more than $20 billion in state investments. She was previously a legislator representing parts of the western Phoenix suburbs and an adviser to former Treasurer Dean Martin.

Robson has spent years as a developer and is founder and president of AZ Strategies, a land-use strategy firm based in Phoenix. A lawyer by training who worked in land use, development and zoning law, she later was executive vice president of the Scottsdale master-planned community developer DMB Associates.

Robson has served on the Board of Regents, which oversees Arizona’s three public universities, since 2017.