State Treasurer Kimberly Yee is hoping to ride the same political path as the current governor.
In a video release Monday, Yee announced she wants to be the Republican nominee for the state’s top executive post in 2022.
But Yee, the first Asian-American elected to Arizona statewide office, provided little in the way of actual details of what she intends to do. Instead, her video twice mentioned her loyalty to Donald Trump and his border and economic policies and lashed out at, among others, the “corrupt press” which is attacking our way of life.
She did not return a call seeking to interview her on specifics of her platform or whether she supports some of the current moves at the Arizona Legislature which would have an effect on whoever becomes governor, including enacting a flat state income tax rate that could end up being one of the state’s largest tax cuts ever.
Yee, first elected to the legislature in 2010, became the first Asian-American woman to be the Senate majority leader.
She had only a few pieces of legislation of note.
Potentially the most important was a 2017 proposal to guarantee free speech to student journalist.
Her measure pretty much would have required college and high school administrators to take a hands-off approach to what writers and cartoonists for student newspapers publish with the guidance of teachers and advisers. They would have been allowed to intercede only under several narrow circumstances.
Yee told colleagues that the bill was based on her experience as a high school journalist in the 1990s whose stories and cartoons were censored by administrators.
But the measure never became law as the bill was vetoed by Gov. Doug Ducey who said while he believes there are limits on constitutional rights of free speech of students.
“These are minors,” he told Capitol Media Services.
She was elected treasurer in 2018.
In her nearly two minute video, Yee first appears on the Arizona border — and echoing what has lately been a GOP talking point.
“Washington is simply not going to protect Arizona,” she said, saying the Biden administration is refusing to enforce the law and opening the state to drug cartels and human traffickers. It features videos of the triumvirate of people Republicans love to criticize: Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I’ll continue President Trump’s fight to secure our southern border,” Yee said.
The video then shifts to the Colorado River where Yee promises to protect Arizona from the “socialist policies” coming from California.
“President Trump’s America First agenda had our economy booming like never before,” she said. “But now, 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.”
Ducey showed that it is possible to move from the nearly invisible office of treasurer to governor. But Ducey had built a public profile by taking the lead in fighting a 2012 ballot measure which would have made permanent a temporary one-cent sales tax hike which helped Arizona weather the recession.
Yee becomes the first Republican of note to announce for the race. And so far the leading Democrat is former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez.