Ducey has no 'desire or mission' to remove Confederate monuments on state land

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'It's not my desire or mission to tear down any monuments or memorials,' Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday. 'It's not my desire or mission to tear down any monuments or memorials,' Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday.
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A monument to Arizona Confederate soldiers, presented by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1961, amid other memorials at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza on the grounds of the Capitol complex in Phoenix (Source: AP Photo/Angie Wang, File) A monument to Arizona Confederate soldiers, presented by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1961, amid other memorials at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza on the grounds of the Capitol complex in Phoenix (Source: AP Photo/Angie Wang, File)
(Source: James N. on CivilWarTalk.com) (Source: James N. on CivilWarTalk.com)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A day after strongly condemning hate groups, Gov. Doug Ducey said he will not push for the removal Confederate monuments on state property. 

"It's not my desire or mission to tear down any monuments or memorials," Ducey said Monday. 

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Gov. Doug Ducey answers Dennis Welch's questions about Confederate monuments in Arizona]

[SLIDESHOW: Where are Arizona's Confederate monuments?]

The planned removal of a statue memorializing the Confederacy's top general, Robert E. Lee, sparked a weekend of violent and deadly clashes in Charlottesville, VA between white nationalists and counter protesters.   

[READ MORE: Protesters blame Charlottesville police for not stopping violence]

[RELATED: Charlottesville driver was accused of beating his mother

There are six Confederate memorials on state land throughout Arizona, including one at Wesley Bolin Plaza right by the State Capitol. 

  1. Greenwood Memory Lawn Mortuary & Cemetery (Phoenix)
  2. Wesley Bolin Memorial Park (Phoenix)
  3. Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery (Sierra Vista)
  4. Picacho Peak State Park (Picacho)
  5. Dragoon Spring
  6. U.S. 60 at Peralta Road (Apache Junction)

Arizona civil rights leaders have demanded their removal, describing the monuments as symbols of racial hatred and terror. 

[READ MORE: Questions raised over Confederate monuments in Arizona]

[RELATED: Black leaders: Remove Confederate monuments from Arizona]

[RELATED: Confederate flag controversy reaches Arizona (Jun 24, 2015)]

In June, leaders from local NAACP chapters called on Ducey to remove the monuments, including one at the state capitol that was erected in 1961. Others include a marker at Picacho Peak north of Tucson dedicated to Confederate soldiers who defended the area during a battle.

The monument at the Capitol is administered by a commission whose members are appointed by legislative leaders, the chairman of Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the Phoenix mayor and the governor. Highway names are handled by the Board on Geographic and Historic Names, which Ducey doesn't directly control but which includes a majority of nominees from executive departments and citizens who are appointed to their jobs by the governor.

Rep. Reginald Bolding, the only black state lawmaker and among those who called on Ducey to pull the monuments in June, said the governor obviously has done nothing to encourage the boards to act.

[SLIDESHOW: Confederate Monuments]

"If the board was pushing for this, if the governor's office was pushing for this, if our legislative leaders, the Senate president and speaker of the House, if they were pushing for this, it would happen quickly," Bolding said. "My hope and my community's hope is he will join our call and help expedite the process."

The governor said Monday he was unsure what the monuments symbolized. 

"I can't tell you exactly what these monuments represent. I know this is part of our history; we fought a civil war and the United States won and we freed the slaves and we followed up with civil rights after that," Ducey said.   

Ducey does not have the sole authority to get rid of the monuments. Those decisions are made by state boards and commissions, in which many are appointed by the governor. 

On Sunday, following the deadly confrontations in Charlottesville, VA, in which a woman was killed by a suspected Nazi sympathizer, the governor condemned white nationalists groups on social media. 

He doubled down on those comments today, saying, "I categorically 100 percent condemned these hate groups --  the KKK the Klan, neo-Nazis, white nationalists." 

[RELATED: Mayor Stanton calls for name change of Confederate general street]

[MAP: 6 Confederate monuments on Arizona state land]


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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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