Arizona Treasurer, Republican Kimberly Yee launched her 2022 campaign for governor on Monday with a video that champions former President Donald Trump’s business and border policies and at times echoes his rhetoric.
“President Trump’s America-first agenda had our economy booming like never before,” Yee said in the video.
“But now our way of life is under attack by the corrupt press, reckless corporate leaders and politicians that put socialist ideals over people, our freedom of speech and our elections.”
Yee also cited the former president when discussing border policies.
“Washington is simply not going to protect Arizona, refusing to enforce the law, opening our state to drug cartels, violence and human traffickers, putting partisan games over safety and security,” she said.
“As your next governor, I’ll continue President Trump’s fight to secure our southern border, every single inch of it.”
Yee, an Arizona native, was elected treasurer in 2018. Prior to that she served in both chambers of the state Legislature, including a time as Senate majority leader.
She will attempt to follow Doug Ducey’s path to the governor’s office after one term as treasurer.
Ducey, who was treasurer before being elected governor in 2014, can’t run for the state’s highest elected office in 2022 because of term limits.
According to the Arizona treasurer’s website, the office “is responsible for the banking and investment management duties for the state, provides investment services to local governments, and exclusively manages the Permanent Land Endowment.”
Political consultant Emily Ryan of Phoenix-based Copper State Consulting Group said Yee, while not necessarily well known, has a strong resumé on which to campaign.
“Kimberly Yee not only has a lot of great accomplishments, she is a candidate you’re not going to find any dirt, any scandal, any misstep,” Ryan said.
“She is a very controlled, thoughtful politician, and there’s not going to be anything to hit her with in terms of a hit piece from her opponents.”
Yee filed her statement of interest to run for governor with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Monday, becoming the first Republican with a political track record to do so.
A statement of interest isn’t a formal declaration of candidacy, but candidates for office in Arizona must file one before they can start collecting signatures on nominating petitions.
Yee’s website boasts that she is “a strong fiscal and social conservative” and “has won every election she has run in, and received the second-most votes of any Arizona statewide candidate in 2018.”
Former Nogales Mayor Marco Lopez is the only Democrat with political experience to have launched a campaign for governor, but big-name candidates from both parties could be waiting in the wings.
Ryan said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is perhaps the highest-profile Republican that Yee might see in the primary.
The consultant also speculated that Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton could seek the Democratic nomination.
“I expect it to be crowded on both sides,” Ryan said.