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'Let’s create opportunity for all Arizonans': Ducey, Arizona's elected officials sworn in at state Capitol

Six elected state officials, including Gov. Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, were officially sworn in on Inauguration Day.
Credit: Brahm Resnik / 12 News
Gov. Doug Ducey delivers his Inaugural Address to start his second term as Arizona's governor on Jan. 7, 2018.

Inauguration Day at the Arizona state capitol was full of some familiar and new faces and capped off by Gov. Doug Ducey calling upon his fellow elected officials to "make our state proud."

"Today, we stand on the shoulders of giants with the wind at our back and incredible promise ahead," Ducey said. "Let’s not set our sights too low, or be tempted to push today’s problems onto tomorrow’s leaders."

The ceremony, which was set for 3,000 seats, lasted roughly 90 minutes and was presided over by Douglas, Arizona Mayor Robert Uribe.

Gov. Doug Ducey, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Treasurer Kimberly Yee, State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and Mine Inspector Joe Hart were all officially sworn in. All six of them were given a chance to speak on the stage set up outside the state Capitol.

"Time we become a jobs juggernaut"

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey officially begins a second term as Arizona governor after defeating his Democratic challenger David Garcia in November. He's the fifth Arizona governor in a row to serve longer than one term.

Ducey said he was delivering his remarks Monday with “a heart full of gratitude, humility and a strong awareness of the responsibilities Arizonans have once again entrusted in me.”

“Today I recommit to be governor for all the people,” Ducey said. “Civility and collaboration will carry us forward. This isn’t Washington, D.C. Here, we know each other. Name-calling and game playing don’t work.”

Ducey said he saw “greatness all over Arizona” during his first term as Arizona’s governor before thanking first responders and the brave men and women of the U.S. military for their service.

Ducey said Arizona is “open for business” and Arizonans are “benefiting” as the government steps out of the way and welcomes jobs with “open arms.”

“Arizona has been a jobs magnet -- but it’s time we become a jobs juggernaut,” Ducey said. “Where if you want to work, you can. Because here we won’t stand in the way of jobs.”

Ducey mentioned John McCain and the mantra the late senator dedicated his life of service to: “Country First.” The governor called upon Arizonans to “work in the mold that he created to make an Arizona he would be proud of.”

He also called upon his fellow elected officials to “create opportunity for all Arizonans.”

“Let’s do that work -- the hard work -- and make our state proud,” Ducey said.

"There is much for us to improve"

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs will be a Democrat in the secretary of state's job in more than two decades and will be the second highest-ranking political officer in the state under Gov. Ducey. Her race was initially called on election night after she fell behind Republican Steve Gaynor by more than 40,000 votes. She surged back to win the election.

Hobbs said the "responsibilities of the officer are vast," but the "greatest responsibility of this job is one that constitutes the heart of our democracy."

That responsibility is protecting the right to vote, she said.

Hobbs said there's "much for us to improve" with elections in Arizona and she expects Arizona voters to "hold her accountable."

Arizona's "bright future should be available to us all"

Attorney General Mark Brnovich defeated his Democratic challenger January Contreras in November.

Brnovich said there are no challenges Arizona can't overcome.

"After all we are all on Team Arizona," he said.

Brnovich said he's proud of the work the Arizona Attorney General's Office has done thwarting would-be scammers or terrorists.

Brnovich said his office will continue to do that work and uphold the Constitution.

He said it was time for us to come together and make sure the same protections are available to us all in Arizona.

"To truly be great as a state we need to continue to be equal in the eyes of each other," Brnovich said

"Let's get to work"

State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, a Democrat, is a political newcomer. The former teacher will be in charge of Arizona's public schools.

Hoffman said she was "deeply honored" to be Arizona's next Superintendent of Public Education.

"I have worked my entire career in Arizona's public schools," she said. "I have seen what students are capable of when they have the resources."

Hoffman said what kept her going in her campaign was thinking of her students and meeting new students.

"I'm done saying 'imagine if,'" Hoffman said. "I'm here to say let's get to work."

Hoffman said she is going to surround herself with "brilliant educators."

She said she will do an audit of the department to figure out what's working and what's not.