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AZ gubernatorial candidates DuVal, Ducey make final campaign push

Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal.

Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal.

The Republican and Democratic candidates for Arizona governor are making a final campaign push through the state as they try to seal a general election win and their parties pull out all the stops to get voters to the polls.

The efforts by Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal are being mirrored by other statewide and congressional candidates who hope that voters will back them in Tuesday’s elections.

Democrats are focusing on get-out-the-vote efforts, trying to mobilize voters who are seen as generally less enthusiastic than their GOP counterparts in a midterm election year.

That includes Democratic state Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is facing only token opposition as he races toward an expected win in Congressional District 7 in south and west Phoenix. He’s trying to help statewide candidates by using the campaign machine that propelled him to a victory in the primary in the heavily Democratic district to turn out voters.

“We’ve had 60 people going out every day for the last month and a half,” Gallego said. “There’s never been an operation like this in this district — but this district alone cannot turn the whole state.” Gallego pointed to similar efforts by Democratic Reps. Raul Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick to get Democratic voters to the polls as well.

The state Democratic Party has more than 150 paid canvassers contacting voters and is hiring more for the final push, Executive Director DJ Quinlan said Friday. That’s on top of 60 organizers who have been in the field for months.

Democrats are targeting unmarried women, younger people and minorities, especially Hispanics, who tend to vote in lower proportions.

Republicans are also pulling out all the stops, and if registered Republicans haven’t returned their early ballot, they can expect a phone call this weekend from one of hundreds of volunteers working phone banks, said Tim Sifert, the state party’s spokesman.

“We’ve got a massive statewide get-out-the-vote effort involving phone calls to voters who have not yet voted their early ballots as well as voters we are encouraging to go to the polls on Election Day,” Sifert said. “Clearly the campaigns are in addition to that. We also have canvassers going door to door, where it’s practical.”

Democrats acknowledge that nationally the election is likely to favor Republicans, with the Senate possibly becoming majority Republican and the GOP gaining more House seats to strengthen its current majority. But they still like their chances for victories in stateside, congressional and legislative offices in Arizona.

“We feel like across the board we’ll certainly win statewide – it’s really a crapshoot which we’ll win because the races are so close,” Quinlan said. “But my fundamental point is, in a year when it really should be favoring Republicans I think we have a chance to win at every level.”

Ducey plans stops in Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Coconino counties between Friday and Monday. DuVal plans 22 stops across metro Phoenix and in southern Arizona over the weekend. Both will be joined by other candidates for statewide office on many of the stops.

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